Skip to main content

Full text of "Year book of the Old setters' association, Johnson county"

See other formats


3 1833 01084 7140 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 




1866 to 1899 


Proceedings of tke Joknson County 

\^ Old Settlers Association, 

From 1866 to 1899 
^ 1327018 

\j 111 pursuance of a notice a considerable number of the 
Old Settlers of Johnson county assembled at the coun- 
cil chamber in Iowa City, February 22, 1866, The con- 
vention was called to order, and David Switzer was nom- 
, inated and elected chairman of the meeting and J. R. 

s^Hartsock was elected secretary. 

^^he chairman stated that the object of the meeting 
■ was to organize an Old Settlers Association of Johnson 
County. On motion the convention proceeded to the 
election of permanent officers and David Switzer was 
elected president, Capt. F. M. Irish, ist vice-president, 
Robert Walker, 2nd vice-president, Peter Roberts, treas- 
urer and Silas Foster, secretary. 

Hon. Samuel H. McCrory, Prof. T. S. Parvin and E, 
W. Lucas were appointed a committee to draft a con- 
stitution and code of by-laws for the government of the 
Association and report at the next meeting. 

The following persons were appointed to act as a 
committee of one in the several townships in the county 
to collect the names of all the old settlers and report 
them to the secretary of the association to be recorded. 

Graham township, Jesse K. Strawbridge. 
AVashington township, Titus Fry. 
Hardin township, A. D. Packard. 
Liberty township, Henry Earheart. 
Sharon township, W. B. Ford. 

— 4— 

Newport township, Henry Felkner. 

Scott township, John Parrott. 

Iowa City Township, Perry D. Turner. 

Cedar township, Edwin Brown. 

Big Grove township, Charles McCune. 

Union township, P. Harris. 

Penn township, D. A. Shafer. 

Madison township, David Wray. 

Oxford township, H. Hamilton. 

Fremont Township, Henry Welch. 

Pleasant Valley township, John I. Burge. 

Monroe township, P. H. Barnes. 

Jefferson township, Benjamin Swisher. 

Clear Creek township, George Paul. 

On motion it was resolved that all who resided 
in Iowa before the ist of May, 1843, be recorded as Old 
Settlers, and eligible to membership in the association. 

Resolved, that the proceedings of this meeting be 
published in the city papers. 

On motion the meeting adjourned to meet again 
on the second Saturday in March next, at one o'clock, p. 
m., in the council chamber in Iowa City. 

DAVID SWITZER, President. 
J. R. HARTSOCK, Secretary. 

Council Chamber, Iowa City, March 10, 1866. 
The Old Settlers Association met pursuant to adjourn- 
ment. The president being absent, the vice president 
took the chair. The committee on constitution, by their 
chairman, reported a constitution for the Old Settlers 
Association of Johnson County, which was unanimously 
adopted, after which an election was held for a 3rd vice- 
prcsi(icnt, and corresponding secretary. Henry Felkner 
v/as elected 3rd vice president and Theodore S. Parvin, 
corrcs])onding secretary. 

— 5— 

The president appointed Edward W. Lucas, Sylva- 
nus Johnson, Lewis S. Swafford and John R. Vanfleet, 
an executive committee, after which the following reso- 
lution was adopted : 

Resolved, that the constitution of the Old Settlers 
Association of Johnson County, and the proceedings of 
this meeting be published in the papers of this city, and 
a request that all persons who are eligible to member- 
ship in this association call upon the secretary and be- 
come members by signing the constitution and comply- 
ing with its provisions. Adjourned until the first Sat- 
urday in June at one o'clock p. m., at the council cham- 
ber in Iowa City. SILAS FOSTER, Secretary. 

—of the— 

Whereas : The old settlers are rapidly passing 
away, we feel it to be our duty to gather and preserve 
the memories of a settlement that has resulted in a 
growth and development so great, and feeling that the 
recollections of the past and the hope of the future link 
us together as a brotherhood, we do now ordain and es- 
tablish this Constitution 

Article I. 

This Association shall be called the Old Settlers' 
Association of Johnson County, Iowa. 

Article II. 

The officers of this Association shall be a President, 
three Vice-Presidents, Recording Secretary, Correspond- 
ing Secretary, and Treasurer. 

Article III. 

The President shall preside at all the meetings of 
the Association, and preserve order, and in case of an 


equal decision, give the casting vote; he may call special 
meetings of the Association at the request of eight (8) 
members. In case of the absence of the President or 
his inability to act, the senior Vice-President shall per- 
form his duties. 

Article IV. 

Section i. The Recording Secretary of the Associa- 
tion shall keep a true record of its proceedings, and shall 
keep a register called the Old Settlers' Register, in which 
shall be registered the name, age, place of nativity, occu- 
pation, date of settlement in Iowa, date and place of 
death, of each member, when such shall occur. 

Section. 2. The Secretary shall ascertain from the 
members the above facts, as respects themselves, at the 
time of signing the Constitution, and perform such other 
duties as may from time to time be assigned him. 

Article V. 

The Corresponding Secretary shall receive and read 
to the Association, and answer all communications ad- 
dressed to it, and perform such other duties as may from 
time to time be assigned him. 

Article VI. 

The Treasurer shall receive all monies belonging 
to the Association, and disuburse the same and render 
an account, at the expiration of his term of office, and 
hand over all monies, books and papers to his successor. 

Article VII. 

Section i. All officers of the Association hereafter 
shall be elected annually, on the first Saturday of March, 
and hold their office for one year, or until their succes- 
sors are elected. 

Section 2. After each annual election the President 
shall appoint an executive committee of five (5) whose 
duty it shall be to make all necessary arrangements for 

— 7— 

an anniversary meeting of the Association at such time 
and place as they shall deem most expedient, and having 
determined on the time and place, give notice of the 

Article VIII. 

All persons v^ho are non-residents of Johnson coun- 
ty, v^ho v^ere residents of Iowa at the time of the adop- 
tion of the first State Constitution for the State of lov^a, 
and v^ho are of good moral character, are eligible to 

Article IX. 

Section i. Every member shall sign the Constitu- 
tion and pay to the Treasurer fifty (50) cents, and there- 
after tw^enty-five (25) cents annually. 

Section 2. All persons hereafter that have resided 
tv^enty (20) years in low^a, and are residents of Johnson 
County, may become members by applying to the execu- 
tive committee; provided a majority of the committee 
are in favor of such persons being admitted as members 
of the Association, and by complying v^ith the Consti- 
tution regulating the admission of members^. 

Article X. 

A majority 01 all the members of the Association 
may alter or amend the Constitution at any annual meet- 
ing in March. 

Article XI. 

The executive committee shall select a suitable per- 
son to deliver an address before the Association on the 
day of the Anniversary meeting. 

Article XII. 

The families of all members are privileged to at- 
tend the anniversary meeting of the Association. 


Article XIII. 

Whenever practicable, the members of .the Associ- 
ation shall attend in a body the funeral of any deceased 
member; and, as a token of respect, shall wear the usual 
badge of mourning. 

Officers of the Old Settlers' Association: 

David Switzer, President. 

(i) F. M. Irish, (2) Robert Walker, (3) Henry 
Felkner, Vice-Presidents. 

Silas Foster, Recording Secretary 

Theodore S. Parvin, Corresponding Secretary. 

Peter Roberts, Treasurer. 


The Old Settlers' Association met pursuant to ad- 
journment. The President in the chair, called the Asso- 
ciation to order, when the minutes of the proceedings of 
the last meeting were read. 

George Paul moved that two hundred copies of O. 
Si Constitution be printed and a committee of three be 
appointed by the President for their distribution, which 
was voted unanimously. Col. S. C. Trowbridge, George 
Paul and Silas Foster were appointed that committee, 
after which the following resolutions were adopted: 

Resolved, That this Association hold a festival on 
Thursday, the 27th day of June, inst. 

Resolved, That it shall be the duty of every mem- 
ber of the O. S. Association to furnish the secretary 
with the record prescribed by the Constitution. 

It was also resolved that an invitation be given to 
all members of similar associations throughout the state 
to attend the anniversary meeting and festival on the 
2rst instant, of the old settlers of Johnson county, by the 
executive committee. 

— 9— 

Resolved, That it is made the duty of every member 
of this Association to give information of this contem- 
plated anniversary festival, and induce all old settlers 
in Johnson county to become members and attend the 
same with their families. 

On motion the Association voted to adjourn until 
the 2ist instant. On June 4th the program was published 
in the city papers. 

The annual festival of the old settlers of Johnson 
county will be held on Thursday, June 21st, 1866, in the 
grove at the east end of College street in Iowa City. 
Hon. Smiley H. Bonham will deliver the annual address. 

The following committees are appointed to carry 
out the program : 

Committee to erect tables and speakers' stand — 
Edward Lanning, George Paul, M. D. Freeman. 

To receive provisions — Col. S. C. Trowbridge, Law- 
rence Johnson, J. W. Swafford, John McCrory and Hor- 
ace Sanders. 

To arrange the tables — Mrs. Walter Terrell, Mrs. 
George Paul, Mrs. E. K. Morse, Mrs. S. Trowbridge, 
Mrs. Cyrus Sanders, Mrs. Titus R. Fry and Misses E. A. 
McCrory, Mary Sutlifif, Elma Felkner, Ada Kimball, 
Helen McCune and Hattie Van Fleet. 

To procure dishes — J. R. Hartsock, A. B. Walker, 
John P. Irish, William Crum, Jr., Matthew Cavanaugh. 

To furnish water and refreshments — John Shoup, 
Charles Paul, I. V. Dennis, Charles Hutchinson, W. H. 

E. Swafford and Thomas M. Irish. 

To provide music Robert Hutchinson, Thomas 

Snyder and Edward Redhead. 

On toasts and responses — David Switzer, A. C. Sut- 
lifif, Titus R. Fry, Samuel H. McCrory, Warner Spurrier, 

F. M. Irish, Ephriam Welsh, Charles Cartwright,. and 
William Crum, Sr. 

— lO — 

The committee on arrangements expect and would 
earnestly solicit every family of old settler? to take hold 
in the true spirit of an old settler, and be present on this 
occasion. Any information will be given by applying 
to the committee. E. W. Ivucas, Sylvanus Johnson, 
James Cavanaugh, John R. Vanfleet and L. S. Swaffora, 
Committee of Arrangements. 

The members of the Association met at the grove 
near the east end of Washington street. About five hun- 
dred were present. No record of the proceedings were 
kept. Hon. Smiley H. Bonham delivered an address. 
Remarks were made by F. M. Irish, J. D. Templeton and 
others. The day was pleasant, and the meeting was a 
very pleasant one. 

Council Chamber, Iowa City, March 2nd, 1867. 

The annual meeting of the Old Settlers' Association 
of Johnson County convened at one o'clock, p. m. The 
President being absent, the Vice-president, F. M. Irish, 
took the chair; when Samuel McCrory offered a resolu- 
tion that this meeting adjourn until Saturday, the i6th 
inst., at 2 o'clock, p. m., and that the secretary give no- 
tice of the adjournment in the newspapers of the city, 
which resolution was unanimously adopted. 

Iowa City, March 16, 1867. 

The Old Settlers' Association of Johnson County 
met pursuant to the adjournment. Vice-president F. M. 
Irish in the chair. 

On motion of Samuel H. McCrory that a committee 
of three be appointed to nominate the names of candi- 
dates for officers for the ensuing year, to be balloted for 
by the Association. Samuel H. McCrory, Sylvanus John- 
son and George Paul were appointed said committee, and 
rc])ortcd as follows: 

— II — 

For President, Samuel H. McCrory; for ist Vice- 
president, John Parrot; 2nd Vice-president, Charles Mc- 
Cune; 3rd Vice-president, Titus R. Fry;; for Secretary, 
John P. Irish; Corresponding Secretary, T. S. Parvin; 
Treasurer, Edward Lanning. 

On motion of J. R. Hartsock the report of the com- 
mittee was adopted, and candidates balloted for and 
elected unanimously. 

Voted to amend the Constitution by altering the 
time of holding the annual meeting for the election of 
officers to the third Saturday of March in each year. 

The President-elect appointed the executive com- 
mittee for the ensuing year, consisting of E. Lucas, J. R. 
Hartsock, L. S. Swafiford, S. C. Trowbridge, Sylvanus 

The following resolution was adopted : 

Resolved, That the Corresponding Secretary return 
the thanks of the Association to the Old Settlers of Scott 
county for a beautifully executed photograph of all the 
members of the Old Settlers' Association of Scott Coun- 
ty, presented to this Association, and also that a commit- 
tee be appointed consisting of John P. Irish, Samuel 
H. McCrory, J. R. Hartsock, to ascertain the cost of a 
similar one of the Old Settlers of Johnson County Asso- 

On motion the Association adjourned. 

SILAS FOSTER, Secretary. 

From March 16, 1867, to March 27, 1883, there is no 
record of a meeting of the Association. On the last 
named date a meeting was held of which John W. Parrott 
was chairman, and at that time, Hon. E. W. Lucas was 
elected President, Bryan Dennis, and H. W. Lathrop 
were Vice-presidents, and S. J. Hess, Treasurer, and A. 
E. Swisher, Secretary. 

On June 18, 1870, the old settlers of the county met 
at the Court house, and the following proceedings were 

— 12 — 


At a called meeting of the Old Settlers in Johnson 
county, Iowa, held at the court house in Iowa City, on 
Saturday, the i8th day of June, A. D., 1870. 

The meeting was called to order by S. H. McCrory, 
the President. 

On motion, George S. Hampton was appointed Sec- 

On motion of Capt. F. M. Irish, 

Resolved, That a reunion of all the old settlers of 
this county take place on the 4th day of July next, with 
a basket dinner, at such place as may be selected by a 
committee of arrangements, which may be appointed by 
this meeting. 

On motion of E. W. Lucas, 

Resolved, That a committee of arrangements be ap- 
pointed, consisting of nine persons. 

On motion of Judge Cavanaugh, that a committee 
of three be appointed to select and report to this meet- 
ing the names of nine persons to act as such committee 
of arrangements. 

The President appointed Messrs. Cavanaugh, Pau? 
and Sanders said committee, who thereupon reported 
the following named persons as the committee of ar- 
rangements, to-wit: Wliliam Crum, L. S. Swafiford, 
S. Johnson, S. C. Trowbridge, E. W. Lucas, John R. 
Vanfleet, G. R. Irish, Dr. Henry Murray and James R. 

On motion the report was adopted. On motion it 


Resolved, ^rhat the committee of arrangements be 
and they are hereby authorized to fill all vacancies that 
may occur in said committee, and to appoint committees 
in the several townships in this county, to assist and 
furllicr the object of this meeting. 

— 13— 

On motion of Mr. Paul it was 

Resolved, That the committee of arrangements be 
requested to select and report to this meeting the names 
of the committees so appointed by them in the several 

Whereupon, they reported that they had appointed 
the following committees in the several townships : 

CEDAR— A. C. Sutliff, Edwin Brown, E. M. Ad- 
ams, Wm. Trester. 

BIG GROVE.— C. W. McCune, James Buchanan, 
Charles Devault, James Payne. 

JEFFERSON. — Benjamin Sv/isher, Lovell Swisher, 
George W. Barnes, Joseph Brown. 

MONROE.— Henry Dupont, P. H. Barnes, Eben- 
ezer Brown, John C. Harmel. 

NEWPORT.— Phihp Clark, B. Henyon, Charles 
Calkin, Charles Gaymon. 

GRAHAM.— E. K. Morse, J. K. Strawbridge, Mat 
Cochran, Saml. Hemsted. 

SCOTT.— John Parrott, Wm. Teneycke, Benj. Gra- 
ham, George Hunter. 

PLEASANT VALLEY.— Daniel Hart, John L 
Berge, Joseph Walker, Benjamin Ritter. 

FREMONT.— James Magruder, Henry Welch, 
John Porter, Wm. Kelsee. 

LIBERTY.— Wm. L. Figg, Henry Earhart, David 
Switzer, Jonas Hartman. 

SHARON.— Wm. B. Ford, Jacob Ressler, Carr 
Hartman, Thomas Simonton. 

WASHINGTON.— Etzel Roupe, William Fry, Nel- 
son Shaft, Philip Shaver. 

HARDIN.— A. D. Packard, Garrett Packard, Thos. 
Corcoran, Jos. Kibler. 


UNION. — Alexander Humphrey, Wm. Beck, Jacob 
Sehorn, R. J. Richardson. 

CLEAR CREEK.— Bryan Dennis, Joseph Doug- 
lass, Nathaniel Scales, James Hamilton. 

PKNN.— J. H. Alt, D. A. Shafer, David Crozier, 
Martin George. 

MADISON.— Carson B. Wray, John Maddon, Sr., 
Orvil G. Babcock, James Chamberlain. 

OXFORD.— Thomas Combe, J. S. Hartwell, Luther 
Doty, John Cook. 

Which report was received and adopted. 

On motion of Mr. Lucas, it was 

Resolved, That the committee of arrangements 
have full power, and they are hereby authorized to pro- 
cure such things and to make arrangements as may be 
neccessary to carry out fully the wish of this meeting, 
to add to the comfort and enjoyment of all who may 
attend the reunion that day. And, further, that said 
committee procure some gentleman to deliver an ora- 
tion on that day. 

On motion of Capt. Irish it was ordered that the 
proceedings of this meeting be published in the weekly 
papers published in this city for two weeks. 

On motion of Mr. Templin, it was 

Resolved, That the committee of arrangements be, 
and they are hereby authorized to give such notice of 
the reunion and basket dinner on the 4th of July, as they 
may deem proper. 

On motion of Mr. Lucas, the meeting adjourned. 

S. H. McCRORY, Pres't. 

GEO. S. HAMPTON, Sec'y. 


In pursuance of previous notice, the Executive 
committee of the Old Settles' Association met in the 
council chamber on Monday, June 20th, 1870, to perfect 
and carry out the plan of celebrating the 4th of July, 
have appointed the following committees and pro- 
gramme : 

Committee on Erecting Tables and Stands — L. S. 

Committee on Dishes — J. R. Hartsock. 

Committee on Necessary Refreshments — Col. S. C. 

Committee on Setting Tables — Mrs. Ten Eyck, Mrs. 
Sylvanus Johnson, Mrs. E. W. Lucas, Mrs. Col. Trow- 
bridge, Mrs. S. H. McCrory, Mrs. C. W. McCune, Mrs. 
E. Welsh, Mrs. A. D. Packard, Mrs. Isaac Smith, Mrs. 
Frank Kimball, Mrs. Gorge Paul, Mrs. Robert Walker, 
Mrs. Cyrus Sanders, Mrs. Dr. Murray,, Mrs. J. K. Straw- 
bridge, Mrs. John I. Berge, Mrs. John Fry, Mrs. Thomas 
Combe, Mrs. George Andrews. 

Committee on Ice and Water — Simon Hotz, Ed- 
ward Lanning, A. B. Barr. 

Committee on Repairing Grounds — Cyrus Sanders. 

Committee on Toasts — Jas. D. Templin, H. H. 
Winchester, Dr. Jesse Bowen, Capt. F. M. Irish, George 

Committee on Invitations — Hon. S. H. McCrory, 
Hon. F. H. Lee, Thomas Hughes. 

Committee on Finance — George Paul, J. R. Van- 
fleet, F. Kimball. 

Oration — L. B. Patterson. 

Reading of the Declaration of Independence — H. 
W. Lathrop. 

— 16— 

The executive committee have selected the grounds 
of Cyrus Sanders, about three-fourths of a mile south of 
Iowa City, w^here all the conveniences necessary for such 
an occasion will be prepared. To this spot, all the old 
settlers of twenty years' residence in this county, with 
their families, are respectfully invited with their baskets 
of good things, where a good old time is confidently ex- 

Everything will be done to make visitors comfort- 

W. Crum, L. S. SwafTord, S. Johnson, S. C. Trow- 
bridge, E. W. Lucas, J. R. Vanfleet, Gill. Irish, Dr. H. 
Murray, J. R. Hartsock, Executive Committee. 

The annual reunion of the members of the Old Set- 
tlers' Association was held October 25, 1883, at Ham's 
Hall in Iowa City. Several hundred were present, and 
were addressed by Hon. S. J. Kirkwood and Suel Fos- 
ter. A poem was read by Samuel Magill. After the 
speaking an hour was devot"=id to partaking of a picnic 
dinner, after which a vote of thanks was tendered to the 
orators and poet. 

The i8th annual reunion of 1884 was held at the 
grove of Sylvanus Johnson. About one hundred and 
fifty were present. After dinner and music by the band, 
order was called by Presidei^ Lucas, and speeches and 
remarks were made by John Hindman, Richard Poor, 
Col. S. C. Trowbridge, A. E. Swisher. Prof. T. S. Par- 
vin, and a poem was read by Samuel Magill. 

The reunion of 1885 was held at Graves' grove on 
August 20. 

The old settlers of Johnson county had a very suc- 
cessful celebration in the grove near Recce's, north of 
the city yesterday. At 10:30, a procession formed at the 
City Park, fifty carriages and wagons strong, and headed 
by the band marched to the picnic grounds. Philip 


Clark, the first settler, and Wilbur Cannon, thought to 
be the first man born in the county and now living here, 
occupied the first carriage, President Lucas, Prof. Par- 
vin and Secretary A. E. Swisher the second, and then 
came the old heroes of early days and their friends. 

In the crowd on the ground we noticed among the 
families present the Lucases, Sanders, Adamses, Fair- 
alls, S. J. Hess family. Hills, Ricords, Magills, Levi Rob- 
insons, Lathrops, Julius Browns, Strubles, Westcotts, 
Vogts, Morsmans' Reeces' Borlands, Swishers, Scales, 
Cochranes, Bowens, Thos. Grahams, Gaymons, Pratts, 
Keenes, Cannons, Cartwrights, Edwin Browns, Brain- 
erds, Rev. Mr. Crozier, an early pastor, Hartmans, Gun- 
solus, J. C. Hesses, Hughes, Guffins, Nelsons, Shavers, 
Magruders, Seydels, Alts, Corletts, von Steins, White- 
sides, Bridenstines, Parvins, Carrolls, Ten Eycks, How- 
ells, (Bonhams, Grahams, Steenburgers, Moons, Jacks, 
Kerrs, Zack Smiths, Mrs. Chandlers. Babcocks, Sylva- 
nus Johnsons, Kaufmans, Marquardts, Adys, Conklins, 
Dorwarts, Morsmans, Packards, Rices, Ben King, Ste- 
phens, C. C. Millers, Henry Walkers, Medowells, Orrs, 
Croziers, Hacketts, Lovelaces, Spencers, Ed. Shepards, 
L. B. Pattersons, S. N. Sanders, Hemsworths, E. Clarks, 
W. H. Taylors, Rankins, J. G. Sperrys, Wieniekes, Her- 
shires, Hartsocks, D. M. Dixons, Robert Lyons, Strat- 
tons, Milton Lewises, B. Swaffords, Kosts, Murrays, 
Ed. Wordens, Irishes, Mendenhalls, Mrs. J. Daniels, 
Mrs. Love, Homes, the Remleys, and many others. 

After a splendid dinner at which families joined 
together around well-filled lunch baskets, there were 
addresses by Secretary Swisher, Euclid Sanders, and' 
others. Mr. Sanders paid an eloquent tribute to the 
dead old settlers of the past year. 

After the invocation by Rev. Mr. Crozier, Mr. Eu- 
clid Sanders made the following address : 

"All nations have their traditions of their founders, 
and all people cherish the memory of their ancestors. 

— 18— 

The desire for historical information was the earhest 
manifestation of that thirst for knowledge which has 
become cultivated and broadened, until no boundaries 
can be assigned for it. Away back in the dawn of civil- 
ization, when almost all the higher intellectual life was 
wanting, we find legends, myths and traditions passed 
down from generation to generation, and in them was 
preserved with more or less accuracy the record of the 
deeds and personal characteristics of their predecessors. 
The earliest of these were considered the founders of the 
family, tribe or nation to which they belonged. With 
the lapse of centuries, the thirst for this class of knowl- 
edge has increased. We still bring to our aid all the 
methods and means known to man to gather up the frag- 
ments of history and to arrange them into systematic 

^'But we are not now satisfied with merely a general 
outline of events attending the birth of a nation, nor the 
accounts of a few of the principal men who were con- 
cerned in its organization ; we want detailed, specific in- 
formation; we write out history as we go along; we 
learn, as we pass from this sphere of action, the history 
of all important events, and the names of all persons 
who have played a part in the settlement and growth of 
the various sections of our great country. 

''Here in the west, the first settlements of our ter- 
ritory were, from a historic standpoint, comparatively 
recent, and we have yet amongst us many who came to 
the county when it was as wild and uncultivated as it 
had probably been for centuries before their arrival. 
From year to year it has been the custom of those sur- 
viving to meet and enjoy together that social intercourse 
which was common enough in years gone by, but which 
the rapid growth of our population has of late, in a mea- 
sure, prevented. Here they meet each other with the 
friendly greetings which long and tried friendships 
prompt. Here they see the famihar faces of their own 


race on which they gazed, and here incidents are re- 
called and memories revived, dear to the hearts of those 
who have survived them all. 

''But, with old settlers, as with all mankind, time 
has been working its resistless change. Men and women 
Avho came here in the vigor of youth now are bent and 
grey, and children who were then unborn have reached 
maturity. With the changes we observe in the face of 
the landscape, changes which indicate progress and im- 
provement, there is another change going on among 
those, the evidence of whose labor we see on every side. 
The latter is the opposite of the former. The one is 
growth, the latter is nought but decay. At each annu- 
al meeting the absence of familiar faces is noted. The 
pioneer ranks are seen to diminish with rapidity. Of 
those who were among the living 'at the last reunion, 
m.any, very many, will be with us no more. To pay re- 
spectful tribute to those is our duty today. 

"To cherish the memory of the dead and to perpet- 
uate their virtues is a duty enjoined on all mankind. 
Men instinctively turn to the roll of the dead, to find the 
names of those whom they regard as patterns and exam- 
ples. We endeavor to bury with those who die their 
faults and vices and retain only the memory of their vir- 
tues. This is the better course, for their faults are of no 
b)enefit to the world, while their excellencies are a pre- 
cious heritage to posterity. Death is no unusual occur- 
ence; it comes to all alike. Every stroke of the pendu- 
lum, every breath we draw, marks a space of time in 
v^hich some mortal is gathered home. It is only when 
it comes near to us that it becomes a matter of great 
moment. When the circle of our friendship becomes 
smaller and smaller, as our friends pass away, then we 
pause to reflect on the great changes going on. Pioneers 
of this county are not as numerous as they were a few 
years ago, and only when we examine the list of those 
that have gone beyond during Ihe past twelve months 

— 20 — 

do we realize how rapidly are their ranks being deci- 
mated. I am able to call to mind something over three 
hundred early settlers, already dead, and the ratio of 
the dead to the living is increasing with alarming rapid- 

"It has been only a few months since a nation was 
called to mourn the death of a gifted literary genius; one 
of the greatest exponents of the rights of the oppressed; 
a friend to the humble and friendless; a man who, 
throughout his long life devoted his great powers to the 
cause of liberty. He had suffered banishment from his 
home, but the fire of genius was not quenched. As his 
ever-ready pen moved over the paper, there followed in 
its wake a train of thought which sank deep into the 
hearts of all who read, and made him beloved of all the; 
world. When he died, Victor Hugo was followed to his 
final resting place by 100,000 of his grateful countrymen. 

''Only a few days ago our nation was moved to pro- 
foundest sorrow when we received the sad, but not unex- 
pected news, of the death of the greatest soldier of mod- 
ern times. One who had achieved his glory and renown 
in a cause as worthy as any that ever engaged the ge- 
nius of man. One to whom the bondman looked as a 
deliverer and the patriot honored as the preserver of the 
integrity of his nation. Cities, towns and villages donned 
the paraphernalia of mourning and the whole nation was 
swept by a vast wave of sorrow. 

''In these and other similar instances, the public 
character of the men gave rise to the universality of re- 
gret at their demise. They were known to all, and by all 
was their worth recognized. But while the trappings of 
woe were being so ostentatiously displayed, there were 
hiinch-c(ls f)f men, with their struggles, trials and tri- 
umplis all unwritten, passed through the dark valley 
silently and mourned only by the few who were imme- 
diately concerned in them. 

— 21 — 

''Man's efforts may be directed in one or more of 
many channels, and whether or not the world recog- 
nizes his efforts depends, not on the magnitude of the 
task, or the energy displayed in it, but rather on the de- 
gree of publicity surrounding his occupation. Who 
doubts that, but for the events of our late war. General 
Grant would have been today the humble leather mer- 
chant that he was before, and had he died thus, there is 
perhaps none here who would have ever heard of the 
event. Yet he would have been essentially the same man 
that has been recently laid to rest amid the sorrow of 

"The men and women who constitute my theme 
today were unknown to fame. When they died there 
were no minute guns, no tolling bells ; silently they 
passed away, amidst the sorrow of personal friends, and 
the bitter anguish of those bound to them by the strong- 
er ties of blood, but the great public received no shock. 
Those gathered here today are personally bereaved; they 
grieve not so much as citizens, but as friends ; their 
grief, however, is none the less genuine or profound. 
Hence it may be said that true heroism seldom receives 
public recognition. Courage, endurance and virtue are 
not publicly recognized when the sphere of action is con- 
tracted, as when it is not wrought out in the full vision 
of the public eye. The trials and struggles of a public 
life are in a sense the trials and struggles of the people 
collectively; each in sympathy is bound to that public 
character who is waging the battle for the public weal. 

''But these struggles are no more strenuous or pro- 
tracted, are accompanied by no greater privations or 
suffering, nor are they more difficult to accomplish than 
the struggles of private life. In the history of the lives 
of many of those whom it is our province to consider, 
there were doubtless passages which, if written, would 
read like romance. They had their duties to fulfill, their 
ambitions to gratify. 

— 22 — 

"There are few people who have not some definite 
end in view; some life work to accomplish. And these 
men chose Johnson county as their field of action; and 
here they came, commenced their work, and labored 
till they died- What in that time they endured can be 
fully appreciated only by those who have had similar 

"They came to a land sparsely settled, in a state 
without railroads or telegraphs. They came, most of 
them, with but little besides their strength, their cour- 
age, and their will. They cleared the forest, broke up 
the prairie, planted the seed and waited for the harvest. 
Almost alone and far from the haunts of men, they 
were forced to depend on their own resources for those 
things which are now so easily attained. They were 
hampered in transporting necessary supplies into the 
territory, and troubled to find means of exit for the sur- 
plus product they might raise. All these problems had 
to be met and solved; all this labor had to be prepared, 
and when we consider what they accomplished with 
facilities at hand, we marvel at the progress they made. 
We who have enjoyed the privileges which their indus- 
try has given us, and have at hand every implement and. 
means requisite to carry on our labors, find it difificult 
to imagine how so much could be accomplished when 
stripped of these aids. Yet such was the condition of 
many of those who have ceased to be. 

Pioneer life is full of trials. There are many ele- 
ments lacking to make such a life complete. There are 
many things to do before society can adjust itself to 
its surroundings. There must be, first of all, food raised 
on vv^hich to subsist. Then the exchange of surplus 
products effected ; then the railroads to be built, and 
only after these and many other things are accom- 
plished, can commerce be said to commence. The chief 
f! fference between their situation and ours to-day, lies 
in the fact that at the present all the conditions neces- 
sary to the direct and immediate pursuit of our avoca- 


Jon are supplied, while formerly they had to turn aside 
and devote much labor to producing the necessary con- 
dition. In these struggles there was a character devel- 
oped which is seldom found under other circumstances. 
The early settler having been thrown on his own 
resource for almost everything, becomes self-reliant. 
Having dangers to face he is brave ; but having little 
for subsistence he is economical, and having much to 
accomplish he is industrious. The true pioneer com- 
bines every element of the hero, and his character is as 
deserving of admiration as that of the most illustrious 
mariner, statesman or poet. 

''There is little to be said of the old settlers who 
have died within the past year that could not with equal 
truth be said of all those who have been called to their 
final account. Their experience is the common experi- 
ence of all early pioneers. However, amongst the 
names on the list prepared are those of some men and 
v/omen of peculiar merit. Among them are some of 
our very earliest settlers and some of the best. There 
are in this list the names of men and women representing 
ail shades of religious and political opinions; men of 
diverse tastes and habits. We could mention those 
whose pure and simple christian faith sustained and 
comforted them through life, and g:ave them hope in the 
hour of death. To them God's providence was appar- 
ent; to them no doubts ever came. There was a sincer- 
ity, a practical, consistent application of their religion 
to their everyday life, that every one could but admire. 
Others there were whose whole course was dircted 
without divine revelation; men who rejected any and all 
forms of religion and who were governed in their inter- 
course with other men solely by the light of reason and 
experience, and the dictates of their own unclouded con- 
science. So far as they had a religion it was the relig- 
ion of morals, unmixed with supernaturalism ; and so 
tenaciously they adhered to and practiced their pt-inci- 
ples that their names stand to-day as the synonyms of 


all that is grand and just. In politics, as in their relig- 
ious thought, there were vast differences of opinion. 
Among them we could have found all shades of opinion, 
from the ultra state-sovereignty doctrine of the Calhoun 
school to the strongest centralizing tendencies of the 
extremest modern Republican. Although bound to- 
gether in common interest, they loved independence; 
while they unselfishly worked in unison, no one merged 
his individuality. The characters of some of them were 
so strongly marked and their personal peculiarities were 
so strikingly singular that they seemed not to corres- 
pond with the ordinary type of man, but to constitute 
a study for the student of human nature. But among 
them all there was not a bad man or woman. The stand- 
ard of morality was exceptionally high. They gave to 
this locality the stamp of that fair-minded and honorable 
dealing for which the business men of our locality have 
justly earned a reputation. The founders of a commun- 
ity give to it many of their own characteristics. So we 
of the younger generations may look to the old settlers 
of Johnson county for the type of much that may be re- 
garded as characteristic of ourselves and among them 
we find models well worthy of closer imitation. 

"The following is a list which is perhaps incom- 
plete, but we believe it embraces nearly all of the old set- 
tlers who have died during the past year: Mrs. Coe, 
Mrs. Lydia Sweet, Chas. Abbott, Adam Schwimley, Jno. 
Shubert, Jacob Miller, James Truesdale, Myra HuH Pot- 
ter, Jno. Mentzer, Nelson Tucker, Mrs. Lucy Colony, 
John Schrader, Eve Patterson, Henry Fitzsimmons, 
James Curry, Mrs. Middleton, Mrs. Eliza White, Japh- 
tha Cowgill, Rachel Stewart, Elizabeth Welch, Henry 
Felkner, Philo Haines, Joseph H. Hedges, Henry Leigh- 
ty, Jno. Parrott, Thos. Hill, Jno. Goetz, Jacob Bowman, 
Benjamin Swisher, Jacob Gobin, Mrs. Jacob Gobin, 
Nicholas Zeller, Harvey W. Fyffe, Ethiel Lyons, Capt. 
Geo. W .Clark, Jabez Stephens, Phoebe Williams. Chas. 
Fulirmeister, John Morford, Rees Morford, Henrv Bech- 


Some remarks were made by Prof. Parvin and A. 
M. Packard. 

Poet Magill read the following: 

For many years in the past, we old settlers have met, 
And we are assembled now on the day that was set. 
Our main object in gathering most surely should be 
To talk of the past, the present, and each other to see. 
We have lived in this county long enough to find out 
We can raise the big cabbage to make good saur-kraut. 
We can grow corn and big pumpkins, and good garden 

And the best wheat to make bread, just as well as good 

Johnson county can make her own living we know, 
For what nature demands she most surely can grow; 
Now let us make merry, that our lot has been cast, 
In a land of great plenty, which always may last. 
The historian of Johnson county has much to say 
About what transpired in a very early day: 
The most important occurrence that then took place. 
Was the first baby that was born of the noble white race. 
Six mothers then claimed that each one had the bes* 

To the honor of bringing the first baby to light. 
Mrs. Hawkins is entitled to that honor I am sure, 
For the dates are recorded and she needs nothing more. 
Another great historical fact we discover, 
Was a double wedding at the house of Joe Stover. 
Ben Ritter and Miss Stover were there joined for life, 
And Mart. Smith and Miss McLucas were made man 
and wife. 

The women of this county have done their duty, too, 
Through the various privations when this country was 

They brought up their families, and did their very best 
For the good of Johnson county, but some have gone 
to rest. 


The first Fourth of July that was celebrated, we know 
Was held at Gilbert's trading house, some seven miles 

White men and yellow Indians composed the noisy 

They drank gallons of whiskey, and they talked very 

The first buckwheat that was grown in this county, we 
are told. 

Was raised by Eben Douglass, and was pretty well sold. 
Thirty-seven times the bushel measure he did fill. 
And all that grain was ground in a common cof¥ee mill. 
This county's organization was an important matter. 
Trowbridge was sent to Burlington, the Assembly to 

He succeeded in his mission; he was then looking ahead, 
To get a good fat ofifice, where he could make his own 

One by one the old settlers have been passing away. 
We cannot suppose that we have much longer to stay. 
We should always be ready and willing to rise, 
When our good Father shall call us, up to the bright 

How many old settlers I am unable to say, 
Have crossed over the great river, and gone there to 

Kimball, Bowen, Carleton, McCrory Felkner and Hill 
And Shoup have all crossed over, their destinies to fill. 
Foster, Cavanaugh, Coleman, McCleary and Stover, 
Porter, Gower, Parrott and Walker have all gone over. 
Irish, Swisher, Roberts, Patterson, Gobin and Fyfife, 
Talbott, Templin and Switzer, have ended their worldly 

I could name as many more who have taken their flight 
To that beautiful l)right country, where there is no 
night ; 

And Inuuh-eds, without doubt, have gained the other 

And entered their mansion through heaven's open door. 
When the people of this world shall hear the bugle 

Then all the good old settlers will surely there be found, 
Ready to enter their home, prepared for them above, 
By their good Father in Heaven, the great God of love- 

This closed the excellent literary exercises, and the 
large crowd dispersed, much pleased over the day's exer- 
cises, and determined to repeat them a year from now. 

Pioneer Notes. 

Secretary Swisher reports a membership of 150, 
some forty new names being secured at this meeting. 

Mr. and Mrs. Ed. Shepard had a fine gasoline stove 
on the grounds, and made most delicious coffee that 
was greatly enjoyed by many friends. 

The families of E. M. Adams, John E. Adams, Frank 
Adams, H. H. Fairall, and H. S. Fairall, some forty in 
number, forming an illustration of how large families 
become, were seated at one table. 

A. E. Swisher, W. E. Foster, S. S. Hess of the com- 
mittee were very busy men, and, with their colleagues, 
aided greatly to make the day a success. 

The Twentieth annual reunion and picnic of the 
Johnson County Old Settlers' Association, held at 
Graves' grove on Thursday, August 18, 1886, was more 
largely attended than any similar event which preceded 
it. At ten o'clock in the morning, the procession was 
formed at the park, under the direction of Messrs. M- J. 
Pendleton and W. E. C. Foster, and after a turn around 
the blocks, marched to the grounds, there being about 
sixty carriages in line. Arrived at the place of gather- 
ing, Hon. Jacob Ricord, president, announced the order 
of exercises, and Mr. A. E. Swisher, secretar>^ called the 
roll of members. Among those responding were : 


Philip Clark, Mr. and Mrs. James Magruder, Wm. 
Smith, J. K. Strawbrid^e, Mr and Mrs- G. R. Irish, Mr. 
and Mrs. Cyrus Sanders, Horace Sanders, Ed. Warden, 
Col. Trowbridge, Mrs. Jane Sanders, Jacob and Jerry 
Stover, Titus and Henry and John Fry, Henry Earhart, 
Air. and Mrs. C. W. Irish, Henry G. Reddout, Mr. and 
Mrs. Ford, Sam J. Hess, Mr. and Mrs. George Paul, 
Mrs. Sarah A. Myers, Garrett Lancaster, W. D. Cannon, 
Sam'l Magill, Hezekiah Hamilton and many others. • 

Music by the band followed, and the choir, under 
the direction of Capt. Cree, sang "America," the associa- 
tion joining in the chorus. Dinner was then announced, 
an abundant supply of coffee having been provided by 
the committee, and during the hour opportunity was 
given those eligible to membership, by twenty years' res- 
idence in the county, to enroll as members. A few of the 
added names are: 

J. H. Thompson, T- W. Townsend and wife, Bruce 
Patterson, M. A. Humphreys, Jno. R. Heath, J. H. Alt, 
Dan Corlett, E. B. Moore, K. A. Powell, G. W. Dodder, 
E. Tudor, S. H- Fairall, John Hartsock, Robt. Roup, C. 
G. Moore, Rolla Johnson. 

The attendance was quite large, it being estimated 
at about one thousand, and a happier, more thoroughly 
enjoyed picnic dinner was probably never held in John- 
son county. Dinner disposed of, and the new members 
enrolled, the choir sang "Auld Lang Syne," after which 
President Ricord introduced C. W. Irish, Esq., the ora- 
tor of the occasion.. Mr. Irish's address was as follows: 

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Old vSet- 
tlers' Association of Johnson County, Iowa : 

In the year 1498, while Christopher Columbus was 
ior the first time touching the shores of the hitherto un- 
known continent of America, Vasco De Gama, the cour- 
ageous Portuguese navigator, found the way around the 
Cape of Good Hope, from iCurope to the coral strands 


and wide-spread plains of India. During that same year, 
Sebastian Cabot, an English navigator, espied the shores 
of Nova Scotia, New Foundland and the coast of New 
England. Immediately following in the wake of his ves- 
sels, came the hardy sailors of Brittainy and Normandy, 
in the north of France, to catch and dry the fish, which 
Cabot represented as thronging the foggy shoals, and 
sporting about the rocky shores of his New Found Land, 
so thick as to impede the motion of his ships. The com- 
ing and going of the French fishing vessels rapidly devel- 
oped a knowledge of the coast from Labrador to Cape 
Cod. ^he first map of the Gulf of St- Lawrence was 
drawn by one of these hardy French sailors. 

In 1535, or just seven years after the voyage of 
Cabot, Thomas Cartier, of the port of St. Malo in Franco, 
having availed himself of the knowledge brought by the 
cod fishers from the distant iron-bound coast, concc^^•oa 
the idea that he would colonize it from his native coun- 
try. To that end he sailed with some small vessels f-^om 
}he port of St. Malo, and entering the great outlet of 
the waters of a continental basin, then unknown, he gvrve 
the name of that saint to the Gulf which it bears to this 
(lay; which name came soon by usage to designate the 
great river. Cartier passed up the river in a small ship 
to an L'ulirn village which lay at the foot of a coramand- 
ing hill. 'yViQ hill from its noble shape and stately bearing, 
]ie named Mont Real, or Regal Mount, thus coining the 
name of the future great city of Montreal. Thomas 
Cartier did not realize his dream of a New France, on the 
v/estern shore of the Atlantic. 

It was Samuel Champlain who had the fortune to 
lay the foundations for French rule in North America: 
which he did in 1608, founding the city of Quebec in that 
year. Upon the successful venture of Champlain becom- 
ing known to the people of France, there at once re- 
paired from that country two classes of citizens, bent 
upon widely different ventures in the New World. One 
class was composed of merchants, who went prepared to 

barter with the wild natives for peltries, hoping to en- 
rich themselves in the fur trade. The other class was 
made up of pious priests and nuns, who, aided by a few 
kind-hearted and w^ealthy ladies of France, came to the 
new French province with the avov/ed intention of win- 
ning over to the cross the savage inhal'itants. Upon the 
rlory of these efforts I cannot dwell. It is one of the 
c'iddest of human experiences. Noble-minded men, in- 
vested in the robes of their sacred office, with prayer- 
book and cross, plunged into the depths of forests hith- 
erto untrodden by civilized man, and placing themselves 
in the hands of the painted warriors who had for all time 
been a law unto themselves, and whose trails were 
marked by blood and carnage, and the actions of whose 
minds were governed by a ferocity as fearful as that of 
the lion of the jungles, and in whose breasts there hov- 
ered not one spark of sympathy or pity. . Into the hands 
of these beast-like human beings, the gentle, loving 
priests put themselves, relying upon Almighty power to 
protect them, and thus they journeyed from camp to 
camp, preaching the gospel of Christ, and baptizing as 
they went- Summer heat nor winter cold could not de- 
ter them. Wading almost innumerable marshes, follow- 
ing along the rivers and lakes in frail bark canoes, the 
pious brotherhood made their way slowly and painfully 
along the sides of the great river of Canada. 

In 1641 Ramymbault reached the falls of Sault Ste 
Marie, at the outlet of Lake Superior, and here he heard 
from the Ojibbeways of their hereditary enemies, the 
warlike Sioux. This was, as far as I know, the first tid- 
ings from the land which we now inhabit. Nineteen 
years afterwards Father Charles Mesnard reached Ke- 
weenaw point, on the south side of Lake Superior, and 
for the first time civilized man made his abode on its 
shores. In 1665 Father Claude Allouez preached at 
Green Bay and met the Pottawattamies, Sauks and 
Foxes and the still distant Illinois. These tribes, then 
at peace with each other, listened to his preaching at the 


Fox village which stood near to where the city of Osh- 
kosh, Wis., now stands. He, by their help, set up a very 
large cross in their village. Here Aliouez heard of the 
great river still further west, and for the first time noted 
its Indian name in one of the forms from which its pres- 
ent name is derived. He spelled it Mes-sippi. His knowl- 
edge of its valley and the inhabitants thereof, derived 
from his Indian auditors, was transmitted to Montreal 
d at once visions of its wealth and splendor was in- 
dulged in by all classes. 

In 1673, Father Pierre Marquette, in company with 
Louis Joliet, five Frenchmen and two Indian guides, 
started upon the journey which was to make them heroes 
of history for all time. Coming from Montreal by way 
of the lakes in canoes, they reached the Fox village at 
the head of Green Bay about the first of June, and there 
saw the great cross which Aliouez had erected eight 
years before. This was the last land-mark of civilization 
to be found on their way. Undaunted they took the 
Indian route of Fox river, dragging their canoes over its 
portage at its head, and embarking upon the Wisconsin, 
they floated down its current and found themselves in 
the mid-days of June, 1673, dancing upon the breast of 
the mighty river, until then unknown, except in Indian 
story Floating upon its peaceful bosom, admiring its 
lovely islands and beautiful shores, they at last made 1 
landing upon its western side, and thus were the first 
white men to set foot upon the soil of our state. That 
landing place is in dispute. It is claimed for the mead- 
ows where Davenport now stands ; and also for some 
point near Keokuk. I am inclined to believe that both 
claims are correct, and that two landings were made. 
The Indian inhabitants were found to be of the Illinois 
tribe, and proved to be very kind and friendly. 

Leaving now the story of early adventure ,and the 
various expeditions of LaSalle, Joliet, Tonti, Hennepm, 
and DuLuth, which developed a complete knowledge of 
the Mississippi valley, and resulted in its settlement by 


the French and Spaniards, who became its rulers, and 
who, through the effect of wars in Europe, were obHged 
alternately to relinquish or resume its control, and dur- 
ing which time the French made settlements in Ohio, 
Indiana and Illinois, and the Spaniards built a fort on the 
banks of the Missouri among the Omahas, probably near 
the present site of the city of Omaha, I will go back a 
little in time and inquire what our English forefathers 
were doing while the brave and pious Frenchmen were 
penetrating to the very heart of the continent and laying 
the foundation of civilization and empire, the fruits of 
which are to be seen about us on every hand today. An 
empire of states, the power of which fairly eclipses all 
the dreams of its conception, the security of which is 
in such strong contrast to the wilderness of woods, 
lakes, rivers and prairies, with their dangers from wild 
beasts and more beastly man, so toilfully, painfully and 
fearlessly encountered by those grand old pioneers of 
two hundred and thirteen years ago. 

It is well known that English occupation of the At- 
lantic coast of permanent character took place between 
1605 and 1620, the Pilgrim fathers making their landing 
only 20 years before the French made Montreal a rendez- 
1620, the Pilgrim fathers making their landing only 
twenty years before the French made Montreal a rendez- 
vous for the Indian converts gathered from the western 
wilderness. The English were engaged for many years 
after that landing, in Indian wars, and revolutions, polit- 
ical and religious, among themselves. While Governor 
Berkeley, of Virginia, was striving to hang the numerous 
rebels in that commonwealth, and making peace with 
hostile Indian tribes within its borders, the Dutch were 
retaking New York, and the emancipated Pilgrims of 
Massachusetts were hanging and burning Quakers, and 
cruelly torturing witches. But few thought of the great 
western wilderness lying beyond the crest of the Alle- 
ghenies, and few, indeed, were the men among them who 


thought of the spiritual needs of the Indians within their 
lines or on their borders; true, it is, that there were noble 
exceptions, but they were few, indeed. 

It was not until 1748 and the French war of 1754 
that the English turned their attention to aflfairs 
west of the mountains. The French war terminated in 
the occupation of Canada by the English in 1760, and 
three years 1 afterwards, France by treaty confirmed the 
conquest and fixed the boundary lines between France 
and England in America as running along the middle 
of the Mississippi river from its source to the river Iber- 
ville along that river and through the lakes Maurepas 
and Ponchertrain to the sea. Indian border wars, 
bloody massacres and surprises followed this change of 
control, for the Indians loved the French, and would not 
tamely submit to English rule. The American revolu- 
tion coming on before English prowess had taught the 
Indians over the vast country from the Gulf of Mexico 
north to Lake Superior, and from the mountains of 
Pennsylvania to the river Mississippi to respect English 
arms and to accept English rule, the wretched white 
inhabitants suffered incredible outrages and endured un- 
told miseries. The Indian wars of this period were 
fought by the thinly scattered settlements, by them- 
selves, almost unaided, in hand to hand conflicts, against 
fearful odds in numbers. It was not until after the war 
of the Revolution came to a close that strong effort was 
made to settle the western wilderness. That effort was 
in the main made by the heroic soldiers of that war. It 
had left them houseless and homeless to a great extent, 
nor was there provided adequate pay for the courageous 
service rendered by them on a hundred bloody battle- 
fields. As a recompense they were authorized to take 
and occupy certain lands on the north bank of the Ohio 
river, and many came the long and rugged mountain 
journey to claim these rights. The old heroes were un- 
der the guidance of Gen. Rufus Putnam- On they came 


along Braddock's old and bloody trail, which soon be- 
came, improved at the hands of the general government, 
a veritable national road. 


The Northwest Territory was organized in 1788. 
Gen. Arthur St. Clair was appointed governor, Winthrop 
Sargent, secretary, and Sam H. Parsons, Jas. Varnum 
and John Armstrong were the territorial judges, and 
R. J. Meigs the marshal. The first settlement centered 
about the first town, which was named Marietta, in 
honor of Queen Marie Antoinette of France. The set- 
tlement had previously been called Muskingum. Upon 
the now classic ground of Ohio were born many of the 
men who in after years helped to give shape and secu- 
rity to this our home. Here in the midst of the Ohio 
wilderness our first territorial governor began an earn- 
est, honest and most honorable life. His career as a cit- 
izen and public man of his times, is a good index to the 
lives led by nearly all of the pioneer heroes of Ohio and 
Indiana. He was in turn county surveyor, justice of the 
peace, judge of court of common pleas, lieutenant of volun- 
teers raised to confront the armies of Spain, then brigadier 
general of Ohio militia, serving in the war of 1812, and 
before that war had closed was commissioned a captain 
in the regular army. In performing these duties he was 
ever on the alert, and his services took him over thou- 
sands of miles of the great western wilderness, and into 
many a battle and skirmish. He also served many years 
in the legislature of his state, and was twice its governor- 
the peace, judge of the court of common pleas, lieutenant 
raised to confront the armies of Spain, then a brigadier 
The active life of Governor Lucas was shared by all the 
citizens of the embryo state, and it was the telling blows 
dealt by their strong arms, which drove the skulking 
savage I^ack to his hiding place in the distant forests, 
and vanquished the proud and well-armed warriors of 
Great Britain. On came the human tide; thousands 
flocked to the new settlements, many passing on to help 
found still newer ones. 


In 1806, France by treaty conceded to the United 
States the province of Louisiana, which conveyed al^ 
that great country lying between the Mdssissippi river 
and the Rocky Mountains, and in the northern portions 
from the river to the Pacific, and also from the Gulf of 
Mexico to the 49th parallel of latitude, except where 
claimed by Spain. Our government at once took posses- 
sion of this valuable acquisition to its territory, and be- 
gan exploring it. At this time the civilized inhabitants 
of the Purchase living north of what is now the state of 
Louisiana were about 10,000, and the only inhabitants of 
this, our state of Iowa, besides the Indians, were a few 
fur traders and perhaps a French missionary or two. 

In 1804, Captains Lewis and Clark v/ere sent to ex- 
plore the Missouri and Columbia rivers. Their expedi- 
tion passed along our western borders. Lieutenant Pike 
was sent in 1805 to explore the Mississippi to its head. 
Some years before this, a Frenchman, Dubuque, had be- 
gun mining for lead a short distance from where the city 
jf that name now stands. These two expeditions gavt 
to the country the first definite idea of what is now the 
state of Iowa. About the year 1822, American traders, 
taking the place of the French traders, came to the 
mouths of the rivers Des Moines and Iowa, and passing 
up along these streams, located trading posts or forts, 
as such places were then called. One set fixed them- 
selves on the Des Moines, near to the present sites of 
Ag-ency City and Eddyville. Two of these men are nov/ 
living. Col. Jordan, of Ottumwa, and Captain William 
Phelps. A brother of Captain Phelps came up the low^a 
river and built his fort inside the lines of Johnson coun- 
ty. The ruins of this trading post can still be seen, just 
below the mouth of a small creek in Section 10, in Pleas- 
ant Valley township, on the east side of the Iowa river. 
I believe that the creek is called Byington's Creek- 
However that may be, I should like to see the name of 
this pioneer of our county given it. Here as early as 
1826, boats from St. Louis, discharged their cargo, and 
took on a load of furs. Here came the dusky inhabitants 


of the groves and prairies to barter for blankets, trink- 
ets and arms, and here in the shady groves, on the banks 
of our beautiful river, he lived his savage life of laziness, 
now blowing his courting flute to delight some dark-eyed 
maiden, or with dress of buckskin, tinkling with a thou- 
sand hawk's bells, he danced in measured tread his love 
and corn dances. Or, stripped of his finery, and covered 
with hideous paintings, with howl and yell of unearthly 
sound, he, by the light of the fire, recounted in panto- 
mimic action, his deeds of war. Again could he be seen 
seated in a circle of his brother braves in council, how 
to meet and overcome their enemies, or recounting the 
mystic tales of Indian lore. Such was the beginning of 
civilized life sixty years ago. A solitary trader "forted" 
in his cabin on the banks of the Iowa, over 
him the lovely summer skies, about him the blooming 
prairies and fragrant groves, with their wealth of game, 
buffalo, deer, elk and antelope, and lords of it all, the 
savage Indian. 

I had intended to read to you to-day a letter from 
Mr. Phelps describing these early scenes, but having mis- 
laid or lost it, I cannot do so. In 1833, there was not over 
a score of white men making their homes in Iowa, and 
the first permanent occupation of the country by the 
United States troops took place, I believe, in 1834. Mean- 
while the Blackhawk war had come to a close, and by 
treaty, a large tract of country west of the Mississippi 
was thrown open to settlement. At once, venturous set- 
ters began to arrive on the banks of the stream- In 1834 
the War Department ordered Lieutenant Albert M. Lea 
to make, with an escort of soldiers, an examination ot 
the ''Blackhawk Purchase." This he did, and in 1836, 
made a report, and gave to the public the first map of it, 
and as I believe, coined the name of our state and gave 
it its present spelling — "Iowa." 

In 1836, Philip Clark and Eli Miyers, pushing their 
way on horseback from some point in Indiana, across the 
broad prairie plains of Illinois, and crossing the Missis- 


sippi to its sunset side, came by invitation of John Gil- 
bert to his trading post, on the Iowa river, it being the 
same, as I beheve, as that of Mr. Phelps, the founding 
of which I have already described. Near it was another 
owned by Mr. Wheaton Chase. Gilbert and Chase to- 
gether with three or four other white men, constituted 
the white population of Johnson county at the time. My- 
ers and Clark selected claims near by the trading houses, 
and soon had their cabins raised thereon. The sound of 
their axes ringing in the passive woods were the first 
sounds to the keynote to the coming tide of civilization. 
Those sounds, ringing out sharp and clear were the be- 
ginnings of all the mechanical skill and architectural 
beauty which we behold about us to-day. Their plow- 
share was first to overturn the virgin sod of Johnson 
county. That plowshare laid securely the foundations 
of all the wealth with which our county is teeming on 
this fiftieth anniversary of their efforts. Thus the long- 
struggle of three hundred and fifty years duration on the 
•part of priest and nun, of soldier and of pioneer, came to 
an end, and civilization set her foot securely upon the 
soil of our beautiful county. 

Of the priests, many died by the wayside, stricken 
by disease, and by the tomahawk in the hands of the 
savage, whom they sought to make better and to save. 
Others were saved from instant death to undergo mar- 
tyrdom by frightful torture at the campfiires, where but 
a short time before they had been welcomed as friends 
and received as brothers, and had preached the doctrine 
of peace and good will to all. A few were saved to re- 
visit their native land, where their ashes peacefully rest. 
Hardly a vestige of their missions is to be found where 
with such labor and bright hopes they planted them- 
Of the noble soldiers who, with nerves of iron and heart 
of steel led the way, let history's page tell of their deeds. 
One of the band, who with Lieutenant Lea paved the 
way for the star of empire within our state, still lives 
within her borders. Of the two men who laid the foun- 


dation of this prosperous county, one is taking his final 
sleep in a distant land, the other still lives within our 
midst. All honor be to these founders of our happiness. 

After the expedition of Myers and Clark in 1836, set- 
tlers flocked to the county, and soon there began to 
appear in groves, and upon the prairies, the cabins of 
the settlers. These were golden days ; privations, though 
great, were unfelt, a universal feeling of security, ^hon- 
esty and good will prevailed, and locks upon the doors 
were unknown. The stores and provisions of the set- 
tlers were free to all who came. We have still among 
us the first man to turn the prairie sod. The first man 
to hew the timbers which gave strength and shape to 
our first dwellings and public edifices. We still have 
among us the men who hewed and laid the stone in our 
first capitol building. We have here the man who made 
our first brick, (Sylvanus Johnson,) and the man who 
first traced out our section lines, (Cyrus Saunders.) 
Some of the first county officers, (Trowbridge and, 
Clark,) and of our lawyers, there still survive a few, 
(Parvin,) and while in yonder cemetery storied urn and 
polished shaft marks the final resting place of many of 
the founders of our present prosperity. 

Let us each record what we may know of their 
work, and of our own, to the end that posterity may 
know to whom it is indebted for clearing the way for its 
happiness and greatness. If it shall prove that this, my 
effort in that direction shall become the corner stone 
for such history, then am I content. I have endeavored 
to show how, by slow degrees the discovery and set- 
tlement of this country came to this, our beautiful state ' 
of Iowa. How the foundations of civilization, society 
and all their accompaniments, of security, wealth, happi- 
ness and honor, with increased expansion, were laid, and 
how they were cemented, by the blood of martyrs, sol- 
dier and ])ioncer. It is now my hope that those who fol- 
lowed Myers and Clark to this country fifty years ago — 
those men and women, who, firm of purpose, stout of 


heart, and strong of arm, led the way — cleared the for- 
ests and converted the blooming prairies into smiling 
farms throughout the length and breadth of this, our 
country home — may, meeting with us to-day, come for- 
ward and recount the story of their labors. I see, on the 
one hand, Cyrus Saunders, the path-finder of our coun- 
ty, the man who heped to trace our section lines ; on 
the other hand, I see Samuel Hess, the man whose drum- 
beat called together the volunteers for the Mexican war. 
I well remember how the rat-tat-tat of his drum sticks 
caused my heart to beat the faster, and filled my mind 
with visions of the tented field; and before me stand men 
and women who are the heroes of our early days of set- 
tlement, golden days, now to become history. Let us 
brightly write, then, on its pages. 

Mr. Philip Clark, being called, came forward, and 
being helped upon the stage, said: 

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Old 
Settlers of Johnson County: Mr. Irish has told you how 
J began my labors in this county fifty years ago. After 
I made that claim, I laid out, upon my own land, at an- 
other point on the Iowa river, my first county-seat, and 
called it Napoleon. The general government then laid 
out the capital of Iowa territory, Iowa City, where it 
now stands, as the legislature by an act, removed the 
county seat from my town to the territorial capital, and 
I Vv^as one of the county commissioners who, under the 
law removed the county seat from my town to the pres- 
ent site where the court house now stands. I have opened 
and im.proved several farms, and — (here the speaker's 
voice became very weak, and he v/as obliged to desist 
from speaking, he being very aged and feeble.) 

Chairman Ricord then introduced Rev. O Clute, 
who spoke as follows : 

Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: It was my 
great misfortune not to reach the grounds in time to 
the address of the regular speaker this afternoon. I had 
supposed the address would begin about two o'clock, and 

— 40— 

was here at that hour, expecting to hear my friend, C- W. 
Irish. But you old settlers got so in the habit of getting 
up early in the morning in order to push your work 
through, that you get entirely ahead of us, of the younger 
generation. So you had finished your dinner, called to 
order, and listened to nearly the whole of Mr. Irish's 
able speech before I arrived. If I had heard his address, 
so that I might have followed him as a gleaner in the 
field with which he is so familiar, I could, perhaps, have 
been able to say something worthy of your attention. I 
was favored with hearing a few of his last remarks, and 
learned from them that he had been urging upon you, 
among other things, the importance of carefully collect- 
ing and preserving the historical records of Johnson 
county. If you will pardon one who has been but eight 
years a resident of the county for saying a word on that 
point, I will add my voice to his. 

We have in Johnson county, land as fertile as the" 
glad sun shines upon. We have farms whose stock and 
whose crops cannot be excelled. We have houses, 
schools, churches, manufactories, business houses, all the 
result of your courage, self-sacrifice, industry and intel- 
ligence. Many of you were here when the unbroken 
prairie stretched away toward the west, when the mighty 
oaks along our beautiful river had never felt the ax. You 
and those who have followed by your side, have made 
Johnson county, have given to it peace, prosperity, mor- 
ality and wealth. As one who enters into the enjoyment 
of what you struggled to obtain, I say strongly that we 
ought carefully to collect and preserve the records of 
all the early settlers of the county, and of all the impor- 
tant events in the early history of the county. 

You who came here when the country was new un- 
dertook a large work, and you carried that work through 
to a successful and honorable end. A hundred years 
hence, or five hundred years hence, your descendants will 
look back with interest and pride to their ancestors who 
were pioneers in the country. 1'hcy will read with eager 


eyes the old and yellow pages wherein is told the story 
of your toils and privations. Some of you smile when I 
say this- You are disposed to think that your work has 
no historic significance. You think the work had inter- 
est to you, and the many not here to-day who worked 
with you, but that five hundred years hence you and 
your work will be forgotten. Friends, you are mistaken, 
you and your work will not be forgotten. As years go 
by, and men come to see the importance of the law and 
order, the intelligence and morality, the home-life and 
the religion that in the very beginnings of this country 
were put into the currents of this life by you, they will 
look back upon you with warm affection, they will regard 
you and your work much as many of us now look back 
to our New England or New York ancestry. He among 
us who can trace his ancestry back to the Mayflower 
regards it as a great honor. My ancestors were not 
among those who first set foot on Plymouth Rock, but 
they were of a nobler band. My lineage goes back to 
those Dutchmen who first settled the valley of the Hud- 
son river. I am one of the Dutchest of the Dutch. The 
New England Yankees had a way of saying that we Al- 
bany county Dutch were so Dutch that we could not see 
after four o'clock. However that may be, we always had 
wit enough to get the better of a Yankee, even when our 
eyes were shut. I suppose that the early settlers of 
Massachusetts and of New York had no thought that 
their lives and work were important, but after 250 years 
we look back and see how much their work meant, and 
we are proud to be descendants of the Pilgrims or of the 
Knickerbockers. Well, it will be just the same with 
your lives and your work. Their real value will appear 
more and more. Gradually men will come to appreciate 
and honor what you have done. Then, to have been a 
pioneer on the prairies will be held as honorable as to 
have been a Pilgrim in the Mayflower. Then, to have 
helped found Johnson county and Iowa City will be as 
honorable as to have been a sturdy Dutch burgher under 
Peter Stuyvesant in the village of New Amsterdam, 


there aiding in laying the foundations of that commercial 
importance which gives New York city renown through- 
out the world- It is therefore of real importance that 
now, ere your gray hairs are laid beneath the clods of 
the grave-yard, you write out records of your early ex- 
perience, or relate those experiences fully to those who 
will write thm, in order that they may preserve a faith- 
ful picture of our country's early days. 

It is a pleasure and an honor to stand in the pres- 
ence of those who have made Johnson county. To you 
we owe our farms and factories, our homes and schools, 
and churches. On behalf of the younger generation who 
are entering into your labors, enjoying ease and peace 
where you had hard work and severe struggle, I thank 
you for what you are and for what you have done. I 
thank you, too, for the generous attention you have 
given to this unpremeditated speech, but I know there 
are those here, who, though aged and infirm, have yet 
the keen eye and the resolute mouth that tells of the bod- 
ily and mental power that did the large work of which 
I have spoken. The platform of this old settlers' meet- 
ing belongs especiajly to them, and it is to them you de- 
sire to listen. 

After Rev. Clute's much-enjoyed little speech, Mr. 
Samuel Miagill read an example of his poetry, prepared 
for this occasion, in this wise : 

The first settlers of this county were not a temperance 

They bought whiskey by the barrel and kept it on hand. 
They sold it to the Indians when they came along this 

And took tlieir pelts at prices, which they knew would 
surely pay. 

The result of such proceedings cannot by man be told, 
They aroused man's fiery passions that could not be 

The savages were ready, with scalping knife and bow, 
And when llicy founfl a victim to strike a fatal l^low. 


Those times have now passed by, and whiskey has had 
its day, 

The temperance cause has risen up to drive it all away. 
And our good old settlers will help along this cause, 
And be willing in the future to sustain the temperance 

Reformation must annihilate our degradation, 
Or the human family would suffer annihilation. 
We have it in our power to control our future fate, 
A nation must be good if that nation would be great. 
The principles of this republic, we all know are right, 
And for those righteous principles we willingly would 

Our fathers left this legacy which we are bound to cher- 

We must maintain those principles and never let them 

The destiny of this country is in the hands of man, 
We must submit to God's decrees, according to His plan, 
Then will He keep this republic, until the latest hour, 
And make us a noble nation, by His almighty power. 
It has been said in olden time. King Cotton ruled the 

But tobacco has usurped the throne, its yellow rag un- 

And millions now are worshipping this idol while they 

Hosannas to this idol-god, for tobacco is their king. 
It's ten times more despotic, than any king you'll find, 
It rules the mortal body, it rules the immortal mind, 
And those who use this poisonous weed, are slaves of 
low degree. 

They are bound by sinful habits, in chains of slavery. 
It contains a deadly poison, one drop would kill a cat. 
And if they would dare eat it, would kill off every rat. 
And yet mankind will chew it, and call it sweet and good, 
And thus degrade their manhood, by chewing a poison- 
ous cud. 

Young men of education, who aspire to take the lead. 


Will sacrifice their health, by chewing the dirty weed, 
And parents to their children transmit an impure taste, 
And by their act inflict a curse upon the human race. 
And ladies in the upper tens, who hold their heads up 

With those who move on lower grades, will use it on the 

Some will smoke the stinking weed, some fill their 

mouths with snuff. 
And swab them out with stick and rag, till they are 

drunk enough. 
You all have seen a gentleman, with breast and collar 


And in an hour's time, or less, too filthy to be seen. 
He spits the juice all over his beard, a disgusting sight 
to see; 

Could any man with common sense, such a dirty crea- 
ture be? 

Men of talent, of brains, well educated, and well bred, 
Will smoke a stinking pipe, and make a chimney of their 

They will draw, and puff, and smoke, until their breath 
is found. 

To smell like some old carrion that lies on the ground. 
The cost has not been counted, nor never can be told. 
What mortal man has paid, for the weed that has been 

Put down a thousand million and multiply by ten, 
You will not reach the sum, that has been spent by men. 
The constant use of this dirty weed is degrading and un- 
clean ; 

The physical effect on man, is easily to be seen, 

And those who will dare use it, the scriptures do fulfil. 

Let him that will be filthy, be forever filthy still. 

Father Magill interspersed the stanzas with personal 
remarks not at all relished by those to whom directed, 
and some feeling was displayed, which resulted in a re- 
quest to Mr. Irish to formulate the response printed fur- 
ther on. 


Mr T. W. Townsend, who had been secured for the 
purpose, grouped the pioneer settlers of the years pre- 
ceding 1840 into a group numbering about forty and se- 
cured a fine negative from which he will supply prints. 
From a hasty glance at this, one of the finest photo- 
graphs of a group we have ever seen, the following were 
pointed out; 

Jacob Ricord, Philip Clark, Mrs. Sarah A. Myers, Mr. 
and Mrs. George Paul, Mrs. Louis, Mrs. Kimball, Mrs. 
Jane Saunders, Col. Trowbridge, Sylvanus Johnson, Mr. 
and Mrs. C. W. Irish, Mrs. Kirkpatrick, E. A. Brown, J. 
N- Seydel, Mrs. Wieneke, Mrs. Boartz, Mrs. Teneyck, 
Jos. Walker, J. R. Hartsock, and perhaps as many more. 

In another view Mr. Townsend has those who came 
between 1840 and 1850, and in a third those coming after 
1850. The pictures are all of the greatest clearness and 
detail, and in the most crowded, under a low power 
glass, every face comes out as distinctly as in a carte. 
Too high praise can not be given them, and we doubt not 
all the old settlers and their families will procure this in- 
teresting historical series. In all probability the inter- 
esting group of the pioneers of the thirties will never 
again be as complete. 

Father Magill's Poetry. 

To the Editor:— 

By request I am to answer for the old settlers, a poet- 
ical slander of his : 

Father Magill saw fit to write down in a poetical 
way, that in the old times, whiskey was freely used by 
the pioneers of our county and upon all occasions. His 
poetic lance was freely used, and wherever it was thrust 
the whiskey freely flowed. Now the fact is, that our old 
settlers were pre-eminently a temperate community, 
drunkenness was very rare among them. True it is that 
there was in their midst a few men who, like the Indians, 
were not bound by any law, human or divine, men who 
from choice, association, and for crimes committed in 


other communities, were outlaws here. These men 
mingled freely with settlers and Indians, and were, par 
excellence, drunkards. As laws took shape and courts 
began to execute them, this class disappeared and their 
place was taken by the modern civilized drunkard, and 
delirium tremens, an unknown disease among the early 
settlers, became quite fashionable, as did all the modern 
appliances of the drunkard's art. With these concomi- 
tants of civilization, came Father Magill. I well remem- 
ber him. I was then a boy, and in those early days I 
never heard Mr. Magill raise his voice against intemper- 
ance. He was then in his prime, and I a boy. It was his 
opportunity, his duty, to have then preached the tem- 
perance doctrines contained in his poetry of today. The 
best refutation of his poetical "license" upon the use of 
whiskey at the time of the early settling of our county 
was to be seen in the hale, hearty old men and women, 
who gathered to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of 
their first settlement in the county, and who, in general, 
though the weight of four score and ten years lay upon 
their shoulders, bore it as if but fifty years had laid their 
weight of care upon them. Their personal appearance, 
their character among their neighbors and friends, the 
happy, useful and temperate families of sons and daugh- 
ters who have grown to man's estate under their guid- 
ing care, and have furnished other communities as well 
as our own with valued and brilliant leaders, in all the 
useful associations of the busy times of our day, are the 
best refutation of Father Magill's well-meant but mis- 
applied poetical temperance speech. C. W. IRISH. 

Letter from William McCormick. 

Grass Valley, Cal., May 24, 1876. 

Messrs. S. H. McCrory, S. C. Trowbridge and John P. 
Irish :— 

Gents: Yours of the 12th inst. containing invitation 
to be with you at a reunion of old setters of Johnson 
County, Iowa, on the loth of June next, is received, and 


with its reception a flood of memories, associations and 
incidents of a quarter of a century ago are brought viv- 
idly, pleasantly and appreciatingly to my mind. How 
well do I remember Iowa City in its pristine beauty, 
with all its surroundings, its rolling prairies, its lovely 
groves of timber, and its crooked, meandering river, 
winding its way through the undulating hills, and lux- 
uriantly, grass-covered prairies of Iowa, emptying its 
waters into the great Miississippi. 

Johnson county was then a widerness, the very con- 
fines of civiization, the home of the red men, and of the 
howling prairie wolf. 

In 1839, I first arrived there, but few settlers at that 
time, a log cabin, dotted here and there the margin of 
the timber land, among which McCrory's and Trow- 
bridge's 8x10 was most conspicuous. And I can remem- 
ber well of sitting in one corner of it on a log, and eating 
roast potatoes from the ashes, broiled bacon from the 
spit. I think we had a little ''Cincinnati double-rectified^ 
from a jug. 

The settlement of Johnson county, Iowa City, etc., 
their history and growth, would be very interesting, and 
T presume you will do them ample justice in your coming 

It is now a little over twenty-seven years since I left 
Iowa City, but how well do I remember many, very 
many, of the old pioneers, even now, as I write, many 
names and faces come up that I have not thought of for 
years. Old men, women and children, young men and 
young ladies, etc., for there were many there when I left 
in 1849. 

Would that I could be with you on that occasion, 
but time, distance and business engagements will not 
permit. Gladly would I take you three old fellows by the 
hand, and give a long, warm and cordial shake, and talk 
over old times, and listen to some of friend Irish's old 
stories and side-splitting jokes, but the pleasure of meet- 


ing you I must forego, and tender to you and through 
you to all my old acquaintances and friends in the now 
great city of Iowa, of Johnson county, a kind remem- 
brance of you all. a cherished recollection of happy days 
spent with you, and a sincere prayer that your days may 
yet be many, peaceful and happy. 

Let me now congratulate you, my old friends, that 
you yet live. May your latter days be your happier 
days, and when time shall be no more, may you be safely 
anchored in the haven of bliss and joys eternal. 

Very respectfully, from your old comrade, 


(The letter of Mr. McCormick should have been 
read and published in 1876. The v^riter v^as the first 
judge of probate in the county. He was a member of the 
medical firm of Mlurray, McCormick & Swan. He was 
a civil engineer, and was very prominent in early days. 
He died in Grass Valley, California, about 1899.) 

The Twenty-First annual reunion of the Old Set- 
tlers occurred on August 24th, 1887. No more beautiful 
day could have been ordered by the v^eather clerk. In 
the morning the old pioneers began to come to town and 
fill up the city. The procession v^as a failure, as the pro- 
gram had not been published, but in time the new fair 
grounds were filled with the crowd. At noon, the scene 
was a most cheerful one. Under the many trees were 
seated groups of people, made up of single and many 
families. They enjoyed a most bountiful dinner. Din- 
ner over, the people were called to the speaker's stand, 
Col. E. W. Lucas, in the absence of President Sylvanus 
Johnson, presided. The first address was by G. R. Irish, 
as follows : 

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen: Often as I 
have listened to and read the story of early times, it has 
occurred to mc that a comparison of the motives that 


brought together here the men and women who have the 
honor of being the pioneers of this county, with the mo- 
tives that have impelled many of the movements result- 
ing in the settlement of other portions of the vast north- 
west would be a fine theme for an address upon an occa- 
sion like this, and a review of the methods followed by 
the early settlers in forming from a chaotic mass of ma- 
terial a community almost free from the vices and dan- 
gers that now beset us, and threaten as time goes on to 
leave us — the dwellers cursed by crime and overshadow- 
ed by poverty. The wisdom and good judgment of those 
pioneers of our county in selecting a spot to plant with 
the homes of a people as shown in the steady march 
from the Indian camp of early times to the vast improve- 
ments of the present day, is also a subject worthy of 
study, and remark as we yearly meet to renew old memo- 
ries and count the motions of the scythe of time. It is 
m.y purpose today to compare as best I can the emigra- 
tion that first peopled these hills and vales with those of 
other climes and places, and to briefly compare the re- 
sults of their settlement with others familiar to us all. 

The task is one requiring more able hands than mine, 
and I ask your kind indulgence as I proceed. The emi- 
gration of Mormons to settle Utah was a selfish move- 
ment, guided by knaves and fanatics. Old men and fee- 
ble women were yoked to carts and driven like cattle 
across the desert, and into the promised land, that their 
toil might enrich their masters and their souls go to a 
dearly bought rest. The rush of emigrants to California 
was not caused by a desire to gain a home, or to indulge 
in that unyeasty process of obtaining bread from sweated 
brows. The gleam of shining gold drew good men from 
comfort and plenty, and scoundrels from their lurking 
places, and all rushed to catch the phantom of wealth. 

Starvation, disappointment or death in the wilder- 
ness was the reward of the many and the prizes fell to 
the lot of the few. Political excitement caused the first 
inrush of emigrants to the vast region of Texas and Kan- 


sas. Drouth and famine have many times taught them 
that more thought and less haste might have caused 
their hves to fall in more pleasant places. The railroads, 
those blessed benefactors of the poor, having obtained 
by fraud and villainy a large portion of the lands in Ne- 
braska and Dakota, by plentiful use of printer's ink and 
a wise display of big beets, gigantic turnips and corn of 
six weeks' growth and enormous size and yield, soon 
convinced the uneasy portion of the people that along 
their several routes lay the road to paradise, and the 
'•"^uded emigrants are now learning that to burrow in the 
earth, preserves life in the winter that in the summer 
they may gather scanty crops for presentation to the 
railroads, paying dearly for the privilege of living upon 
the waterless, trackless plains of those twin Siberias, Ne- 
braska and Dakota. 

The men and women who settled this country were 
not moved by any desire to plant religious seed in a 
far-off land. They did not seek for wealth in glittering 
heaps. They did their own thinking, and followed the 
banner of no political filibuster, nor did they fall in a 
picture-painted trap of a set of land pirates and railway 
robbers. Here they made their modest claims and set 
about building homes. They were men and women who 
had learned "that life is real, life is earnest," and they 
not afraid to "labor and to wait" as the fruitful soil 
yielded to their touch and produced its bountiful har- 
vest. The schemers came as beggars. For little aid 
they would build railroads, deepen rivers, and aid the 
honest toilers in making life pleasant and labor more 
fruitful. Although they were granted the aid they asked, 
it is one of the glories of the past that monopoly was 
held at bay, when Cavanaugh, Sutliff, Bowens, Stiles, 
McDowell, McGrew, M'cCollister, Anderson, Swisher, 
Dupont, McCorkle, Felkner, Smith, Moise, Hemstead, 
Mill, Bowcn, Parrott, TenEyck, Packard, Cole, Seehorn, 
Carson, Fry, l^oup, Bailey, Bonham, Stover, McGender, 
Walker, Sturgis, McCrory, Sanders, Johnson, Kimball, 
the Earharts, Ilartman, Butler, Terrell, and Harris and 


their companions settled here representing almost every 
country and creed. They joined in projecting rules by 
which to be governed that for brevity and justice have 
had no equal in later days. They were careful to select 
the best of men for public places. On the pages of their 
judicial history the names of Williams, Carleton, Smythe, 
and Isabel, gleam as stars of brightest hue undimmed 
by the greatness of the names of more recent occupants 
of the bench as lawmakers. 

Felkner, McCrory, Bonham, Cavanaugh and others 
of early times might be followed with pride by any of 
the later legislators, and with profit to the people. 

In the pulpit. Woods, Bumgardner, Wright, Bow- 
man and Clark labored for the good of all, and with a 
refreshing impartiality, and although their text was sel- 
dom mentioned after it was read, the sermon was sure 
to touch the tender spots in the congregation. The man 
who had gone too close to the line of honesty in a deal 
with his neighbor, was pretty certain to want the back 
seat on the home trip from church, and the woman who 
had been too free with the tongue to the detriment of 
her sister, was apt to feel a tingle in her ears as the words 
of truth echoed gentle reminders of the wrong she had 

At the bar were Reagan, Folsom, Preston and Gil- 
bert, Patterson and Carleton. The unfortunate member 
who stepped aside from the path of honor was dropped 
from the rolls, and the standard of professional dignity 
maintained that were it now the rule would prevent many 
a legal scandal. Berry, Reynolds, Fiske, Choate, and 
Lathrop as educators, left an impression on the minds of 
the youth of their day, and their methods produced more 
beneficial results to the community than can be claimed 
for the more elaborate and costly systems of the present 

The mud-chinked walls of the settler's cabin enclos- 
ed more of domestic happiness than do the pretentious 


houses of the present day, and the hum of the spinning 
wheel and the cHck of the loom was music sweet to those 
who took pride in an industrious, thriving community. 

In mercantile affairs Powell & Jones, Buck & Sanx- 
ay, represented all that is enterprising and plucky, con- 
tented to spend a lifetime in gathering a fortune that by 
merchants of our day would be looked upon as a small 
profit on a year's trade. 

The early settlers of this country came here to build 
up homes and with thoughtful minds and careful hands 
they laid well the foundations of a state. Their laws were 
made because they were needed. They were enforced be- 
cause the officers were faithful to their trust. No wild 
scheme of legal reform found place in their legislative 
halls. In political matters the independence of the man 
was the rule. They had no official barnacles demanding 
the kingly right to hold office during life. No party 
could boast of a monstrous majority, followed by a le- 
gion of place-hunters trampling down the rights of com- 
munities in a wild rush for undeserved places of trust. 

Then you found men of nerve and dignity . conduct- 
ing the newspapers of the time, impartial, faithful and 
true, ever devoted to upholding the right and the expos- 
ure of errors. Oi\ ".he farther shore of the stream of 
Time lie the records of three old settlers' lives. From 
them we may learn that they worshipped no god but the 
god of love; had no creed but charit}^; acknowledged no 
master but justice and right, and lived as men who knew 
their rights as free men, and knowing, were ever ready 
to maintain them, and we their successors and descend- 
ants may profit by following the examples they have left 

Hon. Jeremiah Murphy, of Davenport, who had been 
intro(hiccd 1)y Col. Lucas as having been a poor, bare- 
footed boy, driving an ox team in Iowa City in an early 
day, said that he was proud of that humble position. He 
then spoke of tlic settlement of Johnson county and its 


seat of justice at that time, Napoleon, and also Col. 
Trowbridge, the first sheriff, T. S. Parvin, the first pros- 
ecuting attorney, and Judge Williams, the first occupant 
of the bench. Mr. Murphy also mentioned other names, 
among them, Phil Clark, Sylvanus Johnson, Henry Felk- 
ner, etc., speaking highly of each. He praised Johnson 
county, and said no other in the state had ever furnished 
two cabinet officers. Senators Harlan and Kirkwood. 
Judge Murphy is a natural orator, and his effort yester- 
day greatly pleased the large audience. 

The next speaker was Mr. Wesley Redhead, of Des 
Moines, who expressed his pleasure in being permitted 
to meet with his old friends in Iowa City and vicinity. 
He gave some amusing reminiscences of his early resi- 
dence in this city, and kept the audience in good humor 
during his remarks. 

Mr. Otto Byington was then introduced and deliv- 
ered a short but excellent address, in which he paid a de- 
served tribute to the old pioneers. Mr. Byington is a 
polished speaker, and what he said about the progress of 
education in our county shows he is just the man to man- 
age our school interests. 

CoL Trowbridge had three ladies, 39ers, with him 
on the grounds. Mrs. Angeline Swan, formerly Miss 
Moore, came here in 1839, married Chas.Swan and went 
to California, and resides there. Mrs. Trowbridge and 
Mrs. Jennie Sanders are the other two, and are both 
39ers. The only two other '39 ladies in this city are 
Mrs. John Carleton and Mrs. B. H. Aylsworth. 

Mr. Henry Wieneke supplied sugar to sweeten Mr. 
Shepard's good coffee. Tally one for Henry. 

Almost every possessor of a vehicle whether carri- 
age, buggy or wagon try the new race track, and some 
on horseback made the circuit amid clouds of dust. The 
day was lovely for driving or riding, for while the sun 
was hot, a delightful breeze from the north made exer- 
cise enjoyable. 


Mr. Ed. Shepherd, as usual, received the blessings 
of the hungry multitude for providing "hot coffee" on the 
grounds yesterday. The people rushed to his headquar- 
ters vv^ith large tin buckets, cups and everything that 
would hold the precious fluid and returned rejoicing. 
"Ed." v^as equal to the emergency and his supply v^as 
not exhausted. He deserves the thanks of the public for 
such coffee as he furnished. It w^as not of the hotel var- 
iety, the drinking of which, it is said, made Col. IngersoU 
an infidel, as he lost all faith in everything. 

At the meeting of the Old Settlers association of 
Johnson county at the fair grounds, the following resolu- 
tions were read and unanimously adopted : 

Resolved : That the old settlers of this county here 
assembled, tender their warmest thanks to the agricul- 
tural society for the use of their beautiful grounds, and 
it is the wish of us all that the officers in their efforts 
to prepare and beautify the grounds for the coming fair 
may meet with the strong and cordial support and pat- 
ronage of all our citizens. 

Also Resolved : That we tender to President Run- 
dell our sincere thanks for his able assistance and many 
courtesies to the executive committee in preparing the 
grounds for the reunion. 

H. WIENEKE, Secy. 

Iowa City, August i8, 1887. 

A few among the former old settlers from abroad 
who favored us with a visit at the picnic were the follow- 
ing: Mrs. Angeline Swan, of California; Mr. and Mrs. 
Wesley Redhead, of Des Moines; Hon. J. H. Murphy, of 
Davenport; Mr. Redout from Missouri; Mr. Abe Owen 
from Iowa county; Messrs. Balser and Conrad Hormel 
and wives from West Liberty, both old Johnson county 

Sylvester Coe and family who live in Washington 
county, but claim membership in our society, are regular 
attendants at the annual reunions. There are now on 
record 248 names which represent that number of fam- 
ilies, these only the head of the family records. 

Below is a partial summary of the oldest on record : 

Three came in 1836, 4 in 1837, 12 in 1838, 34 in 1839, 
19 in 1840. 

Miss Mary Hannah Ten Eyck is the first white child 
born in Johnson county, recorded as being born July 5th, 

In looking over the registration books of the old 
settlers, we find 202 members, with 45 new ones enrolled 
yesterday, making a total of 247 members. We also find 
the following old settlers who emigrated here between 

George Paul, born in Pennsylvania, came to Iowa 

Mrs. V. V. Paul, born in Vermont, came to Iowa 
in 1839. 

J. B. Swafford, born in Indiana, came to Iowa in 

Mrs. Julia Swafford, born in Ohio, came to Iowa 
in 1839. 

Jas. McGruder, born in Virginia, came to Iowa in 


C. S. Moore, born in Ohio, came to Iowa in 1839. 
W. D. Fry, born in Ohio, came to Iowa in 1839. 
J. Fry, born in Ohio, came to Iowa in 1839. 
J. G. Brown, born in New York, came to Iowa in 

E. M. Adams, born in Maine, came to Iowa in 1836. 
A. C. Dennison, born in Ohio, came to Iowa in 1838. 
G. Lancaster, born in Ne wYork, came to Iowa in 



Robert Walker, born in New York, came to Iowa 
in 1838. 

W. Cavanagh, born in Michigan, came to Iowa in 

C. W. Irish, born in New York, came to Iowa 1839. 
J. G. Brown, born in New York, came to Iowa 1839. 
Mrs. C. Wieneke, born in Pennsylvania, came to 
Iowa in 1840. 

Reunion of 1888. 

On Saturday, August 11, 1888, a meeting of the Old 
Settlers' Association as held at Fink's store, G. R. Irish, 
president, and Henry Wieneke, secretary. Among the 
large number present were Henry Walker, Jas. T. Rob- 
inson, George Paul, N .Scales, E. W. Lucas, John Jayne, 
Phil Brandstatter, Jacob Ricord, Edward Worden, I. V. 

After some discussion, Thursday, August i6th, was 
^xed as the time and fair grounds as the place of the 
next annual reunion. The following committees were 
appointed : 

Grounds and music — E. W. Lucas, John Jayne, N. 

Speakers — Ed. Shepherd, Geo. Paul, Henry Walker. 

Finance — S. J. Hess, J. T. Robinson, J. Ricord. 

Log Cabin — John Jayne, D. Dixon, H. Wieneke. 

Marshals — J. \V. Sterling, L V. Dennis. 

The committees are instructed to meet and act as 
early as possible, cUid it will be seen the committee on 
speakers had already provided an orator in H. W. La- 
throp, than whom the county had no ''old settler" more 
able to interest the public in an address, and the knowl- 
edge of his selection brought out a large attendance. 

The committee on log cabin was directed to pre- 
pare a plan and make report at the annual meeting. 


The log cabin proposition is very popular with the 
association and there is no doubt it will be carried into 
effect. Quite a number were in favor of building it this 
year, but it was thought best to have a plan approved 
by the annual meeting, and build the cabin with less of 
haste than involve ) in getting it ready in a month. 
Nearly enough logs to build it have already been prom- 
ised. When built it will be "headquarters" for the Asso- 
ciation and wiir be fitted up as a museum of Johnson 
county old time souvenirs. 

The Twenty-Second annual reunion of the patri- 
archs of Johnson county and their descendants, held at 
the fair grounds Thursday, August i6, 1888, was a suc- 
cess in all directions. Early in the morning teams began 
to arrive and when the procession from the city reached 
the grounds, it was found that the picnic had already 
begun. Ample preparations were made for the comfort 
and enjoyment of Ihe day, and it was granted by all that 
the occasion is long to be remembered as one of the 
pleasantest. The day was fine, the company large and 
very sociable, and it is believed that every township in 
the county was represented. A careful estimate places 
the number at two thousand, the number of teams at five 
hundred, and, indeed, it looked like a prosperous day at 
the county fair. The number of baskets and the amount 
of dinner spread, indicate that the old settlers appreciate 
a good thing, and that they have lost no part of their 
appetite. After the feast, the company gathered about 
the stand, to hear the speeches. 

Mr- Lathrop spoke briefly, his address being char- 
acteristic of the pioneer and heartily appreciated. 

The address of the day by C. F. Lovelace, Esq., was 
full of interesting reminiscences of the early settlers of 
Johnson county, and the poem by Hon. H. W. Eathrop 
called forth the highest praise. After the literary exer- 
cises, a social reunion was enjoyed by all present. The 
farmers were feeling in the best of humor over the crop 
prospects. The absence of several veterans, who died 


since the last reunion, was painfully realized. Others 
were prevented from being present by other causes. 
While the attendance was not as large as usual, yet the 
occasion was one of real enjoyment. Many favor hold- 
ing the picnic later in the season when the farmers are 
not so busy. 

A look over the record books of the Association 
showed a total enrollment of 448, up to Wednesday. 
From these we selected those of quite a number of pio- 
neers who came here in, or before, 1840. Nearly, if not 
quite all of those mentioned below, are living, though 
the grim visitor has thinned the Association's ranks 

Sylvanus Johnson, Iowa City's first brick-maker, 
v/as born in Connecticut and came to Iowa in 1837. 

Jas. R. Hartsock is a native of Pennsylvania. He 
came to Iowa in 1838. 

Mrs. E. Ricord was born in Missouri, and came to 
Iowa in 1834. 

Azariah Pinney is a native of Connecticut, and came 
to Iowa in 1839. 

Mrs. Mary Borts, born in Pennsylvania, came to 
Iowa in 1839. 

Mrs. Jesse Beiry, born in New York, came to Iowa 
in 1839. 

Mrs. Elizabeth Cohick came from Pennsylvania to 
Iowa in 1840. 

Prof. T- S. Parvin was an Ohio citizen before com- 
ing to Iowa in 1838. 

W. Hummer, Dorn in Germany, came to Iowa in 


Joeph Paine, born in Ohio, came to Iowa in 1836. 

Gilbert R. Irisli, born in Indiana, came to Iowa in 


Mrs. Ely F. Ijennis came to this state from New- 
Hampshire in 1838. 

J. H. Alt is a \'irginian, who came to Iowa in 1840. 

Sam P. Fry, born in Ohio, came to Iowa in 1840. 

Jacob Stover, born in Indiana, came to Iowa in 1838. 

W. D. Cannon was born in Big Grove in 1840. 

A. W. and Chas. Pratt came from Maine to Iowa in 

W. P. Ten Evck, born in Ohio, came to Iowa in 


Mr. Henry Wieneke, the secretary, has started a 
project which can be carried through if the old settlers 
will interest themselves. The plan is to build a log cabin 
of pioneer type on the fair grounds. The floor and door 
to be of puncheon, chinked and mud-plastered, the chim- 
ney of mud and sticks, the roof of clap-boards with 
weight poles, and in all respects constructed as in the 
olden times, without nails. If the Association will unite 
it will be built and furnished with old-time furniture and 
fittings, and become a sort of depositary for the relics of 
pioneer days in Johnson county. 


Old Settlers' Reunion. 

All hail, and welcome the Old Settlers today, 
Lay aside all your business and drive care away, 
To meet and exchange glad greeting for greeting, 
And make this a joyous Old Settlers' meeting. 
But few are now left us the stories to tell 
Of privations, distresses and glad fortunes as well- 
Yes, fever and r.gue were always on hand. 
And doctors, too, the best in the land. 
For charges (I mean) calomel, quinine and pills 
Were here ever ready to cure all their ills. 


They tell us of how — in their pioneer lore, 
They lived in log cabins, with good puncheon floor, 
And a door and a window at the side or the end, 
As to size, taste or fashion they did not pretend. 

The roofs of these houses were made of clapboards, 
Held down by great saplings, at least two men's load. 
After all their exactness the boards drew apart. 
Admitting the i'ght of sun, moon and stars. 

In fact all of these houses were found to be rife, 
With numerous specimens of pioneer life; 
While o'erhead dried game in plenty was hung. 
On long poles ; beside them, dried pumpkins were 

Two rifles at least, up over the door. 

And two of three dogs lay stretched on the floor. 
In one corner was always a ladder which led 
The young urchiiis off, very early, to bed. 

The pioneer plowed and sowed and planted and pros- 
pered ; 

Read sermons on Sunday, education they fostered : 
Built houses of logs, well furnished with benches. 
As to width and height, well — we'll not tell the di- 

However, these houses, with all imperfections. 
Answered very well for church, school and elections. 
Whose walls re-echoed in high-flown debate, 
Local issues and measures relating to state. 

They made roads, built bridges, immigration invited. 
And the stranger who came here was never once 

But social and jolly were these pioneers, 
Scarce ever complaining, not oft seen in tears. 

— 6r— 

'Twas they who subdued the wilds of the west, 
And hunted the wolf and the deer with a zest. 
They made game so scarce for the Sacs and the Foxes 
They packed up and puch-a-chede off to the Rockies. 

Just how much we owe to these men and women, 

Can never be told by any one living; 

For us to enjoy without a privation 

The very best homes e'er found in the nation. 

'Tis with feeling of sadness we look all around, 
And scarcely a landmark's anywhere to be found; 
Yes, you cried when the old house, so unsightly to 

Was all torn away to give place to the new. 

Yes, progress and push demanded these changes, 
The old-fashioned fireplace superceded by ranges, 
The spinning wheel, filax-brake and old scutching 

Have long since been banished by modern device. 

Soon, not a trace or a mark will be anywhere seen 
Of these cherished old relics, save in mem'ry so green. 
Where laid away safely for happy communion 
And gladly renewed at this yearly Reunion- 
Iowa City, August i6, 1888. 

Twenty-Third Annual Reunion, August 21, 1889. 

The Twenty-Third Old Settlers' reunion and picnic 
at the Johnson County fair grounds on Thursday after- 
noon, August 21, 1889, was a most enjoyable event, and 
the largest in attendance of the association's anniversa- 
ries. The day was not surpassed in fitness by any of the 
past red-letter days in memory's calendar, among the 
oldest inhabitants. The extensive preparations and gen- 
eral interest aroused by the proposed log cabin's build- 

—62 — 

ing had assured a large crowd, but the most enthusiastic 
had hardly anticipated the outpouring of old settlers, 
their families and friends, to say nothing of the many 
who came to look on or participate. 

More distinctly than at any previous reunion, this 
was a meeting of old settlers and long-time residents of 
the county. About every pioneer family was represent- 
ed. A notable figure on the grounds was Philip Clark, 
the first man to take a claim in Johnson county, and af- 
ter almost fifty-three years from that date, the honored 
leader of the pioneer roll. 

From nine o'clock farmers came into town, repre- 
senting all parts of the county, and when about an hour 
before noon a procession of carriages, led by the Union 
band, was organized, there was a general following to 
the fair ground that quite cleared the streets. The 
shaded grove on ihe grounds spread a canopy about 
many family parties that dotted the grass-carpeted lawns 
where seats and tables were of nature's luxuriant furn- 
ishing. Lunch was partaken of leisurely, seasoned with 
recollections of "old times," friendly greetings and vis- 
its from one party to another so that it was well toward 
two' o'clock when the band's music called the many 
present to the speaker's stand. 

Mr. G. R. Irish president of the Association, called 
the meeting to order, after which Rev. Wm. Emonds, of 
St. Mary's church offered prayer. The president, in ap- 
propriate phrase, introduced as poet of the occasion 
Father Samuel Magill, many of whose eighty-five years 
have l)een spent in Johnson county. His poem is given 
in full, not so much for the grace of its poetic diction, 
as for the salutary truths contained in its stanzas: 

To Ood be all the glory, for, l)y His Almighty hand 

He created America, a rich and goodly land. 

It power for production is 1)cyond calculation; 

We can feed all the world witli its present population. 

This gathering here today is the Old Settlers' meeting, 


And once a year they gather to have a good old greeting, 
To see each other's faces and to shake each other's hand. 
And tell the old, old story about this beautiful land. 
How many of those old settlers do you find here to-day? 
And in the last forty years how many have passed away? 
The number that is living now can not be very large. 
And in a few years more what's left will get their last 

When the Indian had control of this country long ago. 
Its beauty was not marred by the breaking plow and hoe. 
But now it's cultivated, and the farmer sows the seed. 
And the land produces a crop just what we mortals need. 
The city expects the farmer to furnish all its grub. 
And when the crop is rather short, the farmer has the 

He supplies his own wants first, and brings what's left to 

And sets his price upon it, and must have the money 

When he wants to buy some sugar, he'll find the robber 

Will steal one-half his money, but have the sugar he 

And when he wants to buy supplies, he'll find he has to 

A large per cent above its worth on all he buys that way. 
I could name as many more that the trusts have taken 

Such as salt, medicine, butter, clothing and shoes, for 

I fail to enumerate one-half they have in hand. 
And how can they believe that such robbery can stand? 
In their greed for money they have gone a little too fast. 
The people will let them know their robbery cannot last ; 
It's meaner yet than stealing sheep to rob the people so, 
And take one-half their earnings to enrich the trusts, we 

There is a power in this land that favors all the trusts, 
By an unequal high tariff that engenders their lusts. 


Those soulless trusts have got the power, and the money 

To buy up all the industries, which they will surely do, 
And in this free republic make slaves of their fellow man. 
Which they are bound to execute, because they know 
they can. 

Just think of a trust on school books, what a horrible 

To deprive our children of learning, while they have the 

A trust got up on coffins is more than we can stand, 
We must call on our law-makers to destroy such a band. 
They have now the control of factories of zinc and lead, 
Iron, steel, copper, flour, jewelry, and oatmeal, it is said, 
Twine, cotton bagging, cotton seed oil, and patent leather. 
School books and coffins, and they will try to own them 

And by oppressing the people and by making them pay 
A very high tariff on what they consume every day. 
We have this powerful enemy within our borders now ; 
And if he is not subdued our necks will have to bow. 
We must use the means we have, and get ready for the 

And buckle on our armor now and battle for the right. 
We can gain the victory if we are all united — 
And let party prejudice go until our wrongs are righted. 
We must call on congress for a law that will sweep away 
Those robber trusts forever, until the judgment day. 
To all those dear old settlers, who will so soon pass 

We would direct their attention lo what the Scriptures say, 
That every human being who neglects his soul's salva- 

His life will be a failure with eternal condemnation. 
To avoid such destruction before it is too late, 
vSeek and find your loving Savior and avoid such a fate, 
Then you will be ready, when the Lord calls you home, 
And when you get to heaven, you shall never want to 


Father Magill was loudly applauded and evidently 
struck a responsive chord in his audience. The president 
introduced the orator of the day, Hon. H. W. Lathrop, 
one of the pioneer settlers of Johnson county, whose ad- 
dress was as follows : 

Permit me to congratulate you on the pleasant aus- 
pices under which you are holding the semi-centennial 
of your county. I say semi-centennial, for it is now just 
fifty years since the county was organized and Col. S. C. 
Trowbridge was appointed its first officer, by being in- 
stalled into the office of sheriff. Subsequently to his 
appointment, the first meeting of the county commis- 
sioners was held in March, 1840, at which were present 
the sheriff. Col. Trowbridge, Henry Felkner, Abner 
Walcott and Wm. Sturgis, as commissioners, and Luke 
Douglass as clerk. 

The first public meeting of the old settlers was 
held on the 4th day of July, 1840, in Capitol Square in 
this city, and it was held for the purpose of laying the 
corner stone of the first capitol building erected by the 
State, and that meeting was supplemented by another 
held by them on the same day in the public park, for 
celebrating the sixty-fourth anniversary of American 

Regarding it from a financial standpoint, the settle- 
ment was begun at a most unpropitious period. In the 
year 1837, our country was swept by one of the most dis- 
astrous panics that ever occurred. Every bank in the 
country except those in New Orleans suspended specie 
payment, business of all kinds became paralyzed, con- 
fidence destroyed, and nearly every man that was in 
debt became bankrupt. For ten years thereafter, the 
country was strewn with the wrecks of this cyclone, in 
the shape of unpaid and unpayable debts, nor were these 
wrecks cleared away until the national bankrupt law, 
passed by Congress in 1842, opened a grave in which 
they could be buried. In looking over the court records 


of the county in that early time, I find in them the names 
of many of the best of our early settlers, who availed 
themselves of the advantages presented by this law to 
relieve themselves of debts that otherwise would have 
been a life-burden to them. 

How difficult it was to commence and carry on the 
improvements necessary in founding a state and build- 
ing homes under such financial embarassments, an 
event that occurred here in the winter of 1840, and one 
that occurred later in the spring of 1843, will illustrate. 

The first event alluded to is Jacob Ricord's going to 
mill. The Ricord family was settled on a claim about 
twenty miles west of Iowa City, and, as was supposed, 
had in the fall laid in a supply of flour and meal suffi- 
cient to last through the winter; but as one neighbor 
after another got out of these necessary articles of 
household comfort and convenience, they borrowed of 
Mr. Ricord, for borrowing and lending was practiced by 
all in these pioneer days, till his stock became reduced 
as low as theirs, and the alternative presented itself of 
having to do without or of going to mill, and having to 
do without could not be thought of, for it was near 
neighbor to starvation. 

Now, the nearest mill was at Cascade, in Dubuque 
county, eighty miles away, and the season was the blus- 
tering days of a northwestern February, with the mer- 
cury frequently dancing very close to zero, if not at an 
uncomfortable distance below it. The sequel of it was 
that a big grist of his own and his several neighbors 
was loaded into the wagon, and, with two yoke of oxen 
hitched to it, and not a cent of money in his pocket to 
pay "hotel bills,'' Jacob was started on his long and lone- 
some journey towards the north pole to mill. The first 
day's trip carried him across Cedar river at Ivanhoe, 
to the hospitable cabin of Mr. Burge, where he found 
the latch-string out its full length, and where he received 
a hearty welcome, stayed all night, and got corn and hay 
enough to feed his oxen the next day. The details of 

- 67- 

the complete journey I will not relate. Arriving at the 
mill, he found that there were grists ahead of his that 
would take ten days or longer to grind out, and he 
would have to wait that long for his. Fortunately, he 
found a man in the neighborhood that had not got his 
corn gathered; so he goes to work for him, getting him- 
self and team kept in good frontier style, till his turn 
came for having his grist. The two little runs of burrs 
— all the mill contained — were put to work upon it, and 
when done, the grist was loaded in and Jacob started 
on his return journey southward. He and spring reached 
Iowa City at nearly the same time, and he had to hurry 
across the river, lest the ice should go out, and leave 
him on the east side of the raging, rushing river, with 
no means of crossing it, to the hungry families in the 
Ricord settlement on the west. After an absence of 
three long weeks, he reached home but a short time be- 
fore the clock tolled the hour of midnight. The joy that 
prevailed in that settlement on his arrival, I will leave 
for some one else to relate. 

Going to mill at such long distances and under such 
adverse circumstances, led to the second event, which 
occurred in the spring of 1843. A few of the citizens got 
together, and discussed the project of damming the Iowa 
river and building a mill, and this led to the organization 
of a company, known as the Iowa City Manufacturing 
company, of which Chauncey Swan, A. C. McArthur and 
F. W. Haverstroh were directors, with Mr. Swan for 
president, Silas Foster, secretary and treasurer, and A. 
B. Newcomb, superintendent of the work. The capital 
stock was fixed at $5,000, divided into shares of $25.00 
each. Work was commenced on the i8th day of June, 
1843, by felling trees suitable for the dam, and the work 
was continued through the summer and fall, a mill being 
built at the same time. 

On the first day of January, 1844, six months and 
twelve days from the day work was commenced on the 
dam, there gathered at the rudimentary boarding house 


of the company its officers and workmen, and they feast- 
ed at a table spread with corn dodgers, corn pone, and 
mush made of meal ground that day in the mill which 
they had built. But the curious feature of the occasion 
was that, on examination of the books of the company, 
it was found that the dam 400 feet in length, which was 
then breasting the weight of the surging wintry torrents 
of the boisterous, dashing Iowa river, and was now paid 
for, had cost in money but twenty-five dollars. 

Walter Butler donated to the company the site for 
the dam ; many share-holders paid their shares in goods, 
which were traded for labor on the work ; Judge Cole- 
man and Philip Clark paid for their stock, which was 
$100 each, in meat and flour, and H. O. Buck, who was 
for so many years the successful grocer on the Iowa 
Avenue, paid for his subscription in groceries, which, in 
those early days, were twin sisters to cash itself. 

This was the embryo of that splendid water power 
at Coralville that moves the machinery in Valetine Mil- 
ler' large flour mill, in the electric light works, and in 
the oatmeal mill. 

Who to-day would think of putting up such a struc- 
ture on $25 cash, and the balance in dry goods, groceries, 
and meat and flour? 

Our early pioneers came here not in search of 
wealth, nor in the pursuit of fame. They left the com- 
forts, the luxuries, and the endearments of the homes 
of their eastern friends to come here and found a pros- 
perous state and to establish comfortable homes for 
themselves and their posterity; and how well they have 
succeeded, the flourishing towns and cities, the comfort- 
able farm houses, the commodious and well-filled barns, 
the lowing herds, the bleating flocks,, the well-appointed 
school houses, the well-attended churches and the ably 
conducted newspapers of to-day bear witness. 

In founding a prosperous state, their example is 
without a parallel. From the time the pen of the his- 
torian wrote the first chapter beneath the shade of the 


forbidden fruit tree in the garden of Eden, down to 
the time its last scroll was dictated beneath the waving 
folds of the ''stars and stripes," no spot of earth can 
be pointed to, where, in the short space of half a cen- 
tury, and within the compass of 55,000 square miles, so 
much for the comfort, the benefit, the happiness, and 
the social and educational elevation of the people has 
been wrought out, as in the state of Iowa. 

While nature has furnished you with a soil the most 
fertile, skies the most genial, and atmosphere the purest, 
dews the most gentle, and clouds dripping showers the 
most timely and generous, you. Old Settlers, as recip- 
ients of these favors, have, by your intelligence, your 
industry, your economy, your frugality and persever- 
ance, so improved them that the country you occupy 
flows with the milk of your thousands of dairies and the 
honey of your thousands of apiaries, and v^ur crib.s 
groan with the ponderous loads they are carrying. 

No county in the state has been called on more 
frequently to furnish men to fill state and national offi- 
ces than yours, and no officers have been more able and 
faithful than those she has furnished. The list is as fol- 
lows : — 

Two Cabinet Ministers — ^James Harlan a ad S. J. 

Two Senators in Congress — James Harlan and S. J. 

One Governor of the State — S. J. Kirkwo^.-d. 
Two Superintendents of Public Instruction — i)r. J. 
C. Stone, D, Franklin Wells. 

Three Speakers of the House of Representatives of 
the General Assembly — James P. Carlton, Smiley H. 
Bonham, Rush Clark. 

Three Judges of the District Court— James P. Carl- 
ton, W. E. Miiller, S. H. Fairall. 

One Judge of Supreme Court— W. E. Miller. 

— 70— 

One President of the State Senate. .Thos. Hughes. 

Two Treasurers of State — Martin L. Morris, Mor- 
gan Reno. 

One Representative in Congress — Rush Clark. 

One Clerk of the Supreme Court — George S. Hamp- 

Two Reporters of the Supreme Court — Eastin Mor- 
ris, W. Penn Clark. 

One Register of State I^and Office — Anson Hart. 

Registers and Receivers of United States Land Of- 
fice — Eastin Morris, Oilman Folsom, Jesse Bowen, H. 
D. Downey, Colonel Henderson. 

State Printers — G. D. Palmer, George Paul, John 
Teesdale, A. H. Palmer. 

And in addition to these the county has often, from 
those who have migrated from her borders, furnished 
men to fill responsible and important offices in other 
states. Henry Lee, formerly of Iowa City, has been for 
three consecutive terms, a member of the Colorado leg- 
islature, and to-day Robert A. Smith, formerly of Lone 
Tree, is a sitting member of the constitutional conven- 
tion of South Dakota. But why begin to enumerate 
whole swarms who have gone forth from the old John- 
son county hive, and they are found in every large com- 
munity between the Mississippi river and the Pacific 
coast, engaged as their fathers were here in early times, 
estabHshing happy homes, and in founding new and pros- 
perous states. 

You occupy historic ground. Here were held five 
sessions of the Territorial and eight of the State Legis- 
latures, and three constitutional conventions. Here 
were also held political, railroad, commercial, and other 
state conventions. Here, too, were held the early ses- 
sions of the supreme court, where met the learned judges 
and the leading lawyers from all parts of the state. In 
your county were organized the two first railroad com- 


panics in the state, and yours was the first county west 
of and away from the Mississippi, to hear the neighing 
of the iron horse. Here were elected your first senators 
in Congress, and here stands the first capitol building 
erected by the state. Across your fertile prairies went 
that numerous overland caravan of '"49ers" in search of 
those golden treasures that Captain Sutter found buried 
in the bosom of the earth on the shores of the Occident. 

It is pleasant on occasions like this to look back over 
the receding years and call to mind those old pioneers 
like Felkner, Swisher, Berry, Sanders, Cavanaugh, Trow- 
bridge, the Frys and others, their associates whom I have 
not time to mention, living in their log cabins, with their 
doors opened by latch-strings, with puncheon floors or 
no floors at all, with puncheon roof, held down by 
weight poles, going to mill, to the shop, to the store, 
to town or to church, when they had churches to go to, 
in their farm wagons, with prairie hay for seat and cush- 
ion, drawn by ox teams, worked down to their lowest 
gait in breaking of prairie and other farm work ; and con- 
trast their condition in those early days with the present 
when their children are living in well-built and well-furn- 
ished houses, with carpeted floors, tapestried walls, 
and frescoed ceilings, and riding to town, to church, etc., 
in nice two or three seated carriages, with seats well 
cushioned, drawn each by a spanking team of bays, that 
can kick up the dust at the rate of eight or ten miles an 

Old Settlers of Johnson county, the results of your 
arduous labors, your years of patient endurance, and 
your noble deeds, are now emblazoned on the historic 
page, and your children and your children's children 
can there read them with pride, in learning how much 
good you have done, and it is to be hoped that the next 
half century of your country's history may be as mem- 
orable at its close as the past one has been at its termi- 


Professor T. S. Parvin, who has Hved in Iowa half 
a century and more, was loudly called upon, and re- 
sponded with a graceful "little talk," such as he always 
gives, illustrated with recollections of other meetings 
of old settlers in Johnson county, and with incidents of 
pioneer life and reminiscences of early settlers. It was 
an address much appreciated by all on the grounds. 

After the addresses and music, the reunion features 
of the day were prominent and for hours there were 
greetings among the old settlers, and new themes, until 
evening hours compelled a separation and reluctant 
good byes. 

The Driving Park and Agricultural Society direc- 
tors freely gave permission and also encouragement to 
the project of erecting an Old Settlers' log cabin on the 
fair grounds. Secretary Wieneke furnishes us with the 
following list of the subscribers of materials for the cab- 
in : 

Sixteen Foot Logs — W. J. Haddock i ; M. J. Pen- 
dleton I ; George Nelson, i ; Sylvanus Johnson, i ; Henry 
Earhart, i ; Sv^isher Bros., i ; Charles Gaymon, 2 ; Fol- 
som Bros., i; A. Hemsworth, i; D. Mi. Dixon, 2; J. 
Hartman, i; L. Robinson, i; B. Dennis, 2; E. M. Ste- 
vens, I ; M. Birrer, i ; P. M. Connelly, i ; Rolla Johnson, 
: ; J. W. Stevens, i ; Mr. and M,rs. J. A. Edwards, i ; 
H. W. Lathrop, i. 

Twenty Foot Logs— Euclid Sanders, 2 ; J. Y. Stover, 
2; James McCollister, 2; Horace Sanders, 2; Isaac Bow- 
en, 2; D. Conklin, 2; Cochran Bros., 2; E. Clark, i; Wm. 
TenEyck, i ; O. G. Babcock, 2 ; John Struble, i ; John 
Brady, i ; J. B. SwafTord, 2 ; F. X. Rittenmeyer, 2 ; J. M. 
A.dams, i. 

Twenty-four Foot Logs — M. Adams, i ; I. V. Den- 
nis, 2. Clapboard Tree, A. W. Beutier. Puncheons, 
James Magruder. 


Meeting to Build the Cabins. 

On Saturday, September 28, 1889, the old setlers 
met at the fair grounds to construct the log cabins. The 
advance guard came in at an early hour and marched 
to the fair ground, which soon became a scene of the 
liveliest, busiest work. Old men, hale and hearty, as 
Johnson county's health-blessed population always is, 
were on hand, and putting in motion saws and axes, 
brought the beads of sweat to their brows. At nine 
o'clock scores of the pride of our county, our sturdy 
pioneers, were on the ground, and with coats and vests 
cast aside, were laboring to obtain the desired end. The 
work on the Old Settlers' log cabin had begun, and fly- 
ing chips and sawdust told the tale. How those good old 
men enjoyed themselves, as they renewed the memories 
of youth and thoughts long gone by came trooping 
through their minds' They thought of the humble 
homes they had erected fifty years ago. A half century 
had flown since they had sawed and hewed as if for life 
to erect a shelter for the dear ones, ere the fierce wintry 
blasts shrieked over the prairie and through the leafless 

Pictures of painted and feathered Indians (not Lo, 
the poor Indian, but the less romantic and more fiendish 
— "pesky redskin", who slaughtered with glee and rev- 
eled in torture) arose before them, and in their mind's 
eye they saw wondrous scenes of wild pioneer life. And 
while they gave play to their imagination, busy and vivid, 
their hands and muscles were none the less busy, and 
the work rapidly progressed. Yet, hard as they labored, 
the task allotted was a hard one, and one day would not 
suffice; longer time would be needed ere this structure, 
commemorative of our hardy band, would be completed. 
As the elders worked on, groups of eager-eyed children 
and youths loitered about, gazing with great interest 
upon the sight, a spectacle which they had never before 
seen in their short lives. They learned that long before 
the light of day blessed their young eyes, such abodes 


were their parents,' and with gratitude filHng their hearts 
thanked those earnest, loving workers, who in Hves of 
toil, had amassed wealth and pleasant — even luxurious 
homes for the children, who now surveyed them wonder- 

Out of the three hundred members whose names 
appear on the books of the Old Settlers association, there 
were many present, and we would like to give the names 
of all who lent their aid in erecting the log cabin. To 
give all is impossible, however, it will not be proper to 
mention a few to the exclusion of others. Suffice it to 
say that of all persistent, energetic, tireless workers, the 
old settlers of Johnson county bear off the palm. 

When the noon hour arrived, the perspiring carpen- 
ters laid aside their tools and sought neighboring cool, 
secluded spots, where their good wives had already as- 
sembled, with baskets heavily laden with dainties and 

Secretary Wieneke kindly furnished a supply of 
coffee, and the ladies present soon had the steaming, fra- 
grant beverage concocted and served to the toilers, this 
cheering drink being most acceptable to all the workers. 
The mid-day meal was then taken amid general pleasure, 
reminiscences being in order, and a steady flow of con- 
versation was kept up, every one taking part. What 
wonderful stories of other days ! What remarkable inci- 
dents and adventures were recounted! Each diner lent 
new interest to the gathering by his contributions to the 
conversational fund. Then when full justice had been 
done to the repast, the party broke up, the ladies strolled 
about and watched their "better halves," who resumed 
their work upon the cabin, which steadily continued un 
til it grew too dark to permit continuance. And then 
when darkness overshadowed the earth, they unwillingly 
stowed away their tools, to be kept aside till the solemn 
Sabbath passed. 

The following are the donors of logs and other ma- 
terial : 


G. R. Irish, I ; J. P. Irish, i ; C. W. Irish, i ; T. M. 
Irish, i; A. Cole, i ; J. W. Butler, i; M. TenEyck, 2; 
E. Sanders, 2; Folsom, i ; Cochran Bros., 2; J. B. Swaf- 
ford, 2; I. V. Dennis, 4; O. G. Babcock, 2; F. X. Ritten- 
meyer, 2; M. and J. Adams, 2; M. Birrer, i; J. Hartman, 
I ; Gus Hartman, i ; J. J. Roessler, i ; C. Gaymon, 3 ; 

D. M. Dixon, i ; John Brady, i ; S. Cozine, 2; H. Walker, 
2; W. J. Haddock, i; 1. Bowen, 3; W. H. Stewart, i; 
Ezra Thompson, i ; J. H. Thompson, i ; A. H. Graham, 
i; Mrs. Jeptha Cowgill, i; H. Sanders, 2; J. K. Hemp- 
hill, i; J. Struble, i; B. Dennis, i ; J. Y. Stover, 2; R. 
Johnson, i ; A. Hemsworth, i ; J. A. Edwards, i ; George 
Hitchcock, i; R. B. Sanders, i ; J. W. Bane, i; R. A. 
Bane, i ; E. W. Lucas, 2; W. TenEyck, 2; W. Felkner, 
I. Clapboards, A. W. Beuter; puncheons, J. Magruder, 
H. Walker and neighbors. Doors, C. Smith and neigh- 
bors. Foundation stone, F. Hutchinson. Hauling, Geo. 
Borland. Hearthstone, Mrs. Van Fleet. 

The following each contributed $2.00 in cash for 
sheeting: S. Spurrier, Warner Spurrier, Ezekiel Clark, 

E. B. Patterson and W.J. Haddock. 

This list is not quite complete, but a complete one 
was not obtainable. The cabin is 16x20 feet in dimen- 
sions, one and one-half stories in height, and a six-foot 
porch facing the west side. South of this cabin, a nar- 
row lane between them, stands the second cabin, made 
of logs unhewn, and with bark untouched, thus being 
an exact model of the homes of our pioneers of half a 
century ago. The first cabin represents the log cabin 
of advanced civilization, while the second is the original 
— the representative of cruder days. 

Twenty-Fourth Annual Reunion, August 16, 1890. 

On Saturday, August 16, 1890, the Twenty-Fourth 
Annual Reunion of the Old Settlers occurred. When 
the hour of noon arrived, the fair ground presented an 
animated appearance. Many old settlers and their fam- 


ilies could be seen gathered in groups under the shade 
of the trees, with abundant viands spread out before 
them, and of which they partook bountifully. No doubt, 
everything tasted sweeter because eaten under the blue 
sky and on the green table of "Miother Earth." As he 
always does, Mr. Ed. Shepard served the people with 
his delicious coffee, which made their meal still more 

After all had eaten and spent some time in exchang- 
ing friendly greetings, Hon. H. W. Lathrop, president 
of the Old Settlers' Association, called the large crowd 
to order, and announced the program. After prayer by 
Rev. Dr. Fairall, the doxology, 'Traise God from Whom 
all blessings flow," etc., was sung. Then Mr. Samuel 
Magill was introduced as the "poet laureate," of Johnson 
county. He read the following poem in his own inimit- 
able manner, making at times significant comments 
which amused the audience: 

The old settlers of Johnson county try to meet once a 

To enjoy each other's company while they remain here, 
And how many are now missing, who were here a year 

Who have gone across the river, and have met their last 

We met together last year and were highly entertained, 
We meet together this year and feel we are unrestrained. 
We are glad that we have lived to see this happy day, 
And we may hope to meet again before we pass away. 

What was the condition of this county sixty years ago? 
The Indians had lawful possession, and did not want 
to go. 

But the white men came in numbers, and sent them all 

For they did not like their company, and would not let 
them say. 

Clark and Myers, in this county, made the first claims 
to land, 

They set their stakes, believing that their claims would 
surely stand. 

They were not disappointed, for their claims were 

good and sound. 
And they made a grand speculation on Uncle Sammy's 


The old settlers had no roads, but struck straight for 

Where they could find some grub to buy for them to 
live upon. 

They packed all their provisions upon their horse's back, 
And then they struck a straight bee-line right on their 
homeward track. 

They depended on their good rifles to furnish all the 

And when they had it roasted well, it tasted very sweet. 
They washed their hard-tack down with coffee both 

strong and hot. 
And they used another liquid, too, the name I mention 


The buckskin shirt and pantaloons were what they had 
to wear. 

The coonskin made a pointed cap, which looked both 

warm and fair. 
The Indian moccasin was found to be a useful shoe. 
And when they could do no better, they made the mocca- 
sin do. 

An old settler dressed up, in the style described above, 
Sitting in that log cabin, along with his lady love. 
And a dear old mother four score or more with her spin- 
ning wheel,, 

Making it sing the old tune, would make us old settlers 


Is there an old settler here now, who was here sixty 
years ago? 

If there is one, just let him stand up, he would be quite 
a show. 

There are some here now who have been here fifty yearis 
no doubt, 

We hope they will show themselves until they are count- 
ed out. 

The old settlers should be glad who have lived to see 
this d^y. 

Old Johnson county settled with people who came to 

Some made their farms in an early day when everything 
was new. 

And now they are independent and very well-to-do. 

When the emigrants came in, the county settled fast. 
And many made their claims right here, and made them 
all to last. 

The capital was located here, which gave the place some 

And the people came with a rush, because of its good 

The city was prospering, and the county was doing well, 
And the people were all happy with plenty of news to tell. 
Then the population increased at a very rapid rate, 
And this fruitful territory became a noble state. 

John Powell, our first merchant, built a ware-house near 
the river. 

And bought all the pork and grain the farmers could 

Hiram Watts built the flatboats that took the provisions 

And when they landed in St. Louis, there the boats had 
to stay. 


They traded off the produce for goods of various kinds, 
And landed them in Bloomington, well salted for the 

They hauled them there with teams, and placed them in 
the store, 

And when they were sold out, they had the means to 
buy some more. 

Those beautiful prairies with all their brilliant inland seas 
And their magnificent groves, filled with majestic trees. 
Are real monuments to show, a foundation good and 

With material in abundance to help the state along. 

This state, in the future, is destined to become great. 
It will surely be a rival of any other state. 
She has the means within herself to feed a population 
Greater than can be found in many European nations. 

"Uncle Sam'* regulated the railroads, and done it very 

And saved the people money, yes, more than they can 

And forever in the future will keep them in their place. 
For the good of this great nation and all the human race. 

And he will put his veto on making alcohol. 
And stop the importation until we have none at all. 
Then this nation will prosper beyond all calculation. 
And among other nations will have a good reputation. 

The Supreme Court's decision caused us all to reflect, 
But Congress has passed a law to cure the court's defect; 
And the original package is in a bad condition, 
And the temperance cause will prosper, in spite of oppo- 


The work is great, but must go on, for God's decree has 

The nations of the earth must bow to Me, their righteous 

May we be found in temperance ranks, and in the tem- 
perance cause. 

To fight the temperance battles and maintain the tem- 
perance laws. 

That round log cabin reminds us of sixty years ago, 
And that nice hewed log cabin of forty years also. 
May they stand as emblems in Johnson county, sixty 

years or more, 
And the string of the latch be on the outside of the door. 

And when on earth our time is spent, may we be ready 
to go. 

To the beautiful land above, where the farmers need 
not sow. 

But reap the elysian fields of bliss, already complete, 
And gather a crop of happiness, a food the angels eat. 

At the conclusion of the reading of the poem, which 
was certainly one of the best ever written by Father 
Magill for the Old Settlers' Picnic, the ''Greeting Glee" 
was grandly rendered by a choir, composed of the follow- 
ing: Capt. A. B. Cree, Mr. Musser, Mrs. Cree, Mrs. W. 
Bowen and Miss Mamie Williams, Miss Cree presiding 
at the organ. Col. Ed. Lucas made a few remarks, re- 
ferring to the erection of the log cabins and giving spec- 
ial credit to Mr. Gil. Irish for their erection. He said 
that the donors of the logs were so generous that enough 
had been given to build two cabins, one representing the 
earliest period of pioneer days and the other a period 
somewhat later. The address by Col. Lucas, though 
brief, was well received. Then followed ''The Vermont 
Farmers' Song," an inspiring number from the choir, 
and splendi(Jly rendered. The next exercise was a 

— 8i— 

poem by Mr. Abel Beach, who, in a few preliminary re- 
marks, referred to his coming to Iowa in the early days. 
He then read his poem, as follows : 

When asked for something new, original, I thought, 
Whether my friends, forgetting temperance record, 

An "original package" — popular down East just now^ — 
Or something original from the pen — without a row? 
I'll choose the latter anyhow. 

Old settlers are not here, I think, to feed surprise,- 
When all that's seen is now familiar to the eyes. 
But if a new-comer should disturb our precincts fair^. 
Or tries an innovation strange, let him beware, 
'Tis dangerous sometimes to dare. 

Home of the buffalo, and fairy land of brave. 
Where might was right, and speed the highest art to 

Here, where our camp-fire burns, the welkin often rung 
With midnight carnival ; where exploits wild were sung 
And eagle plumes for token swung. 

While some, not all can go back to the days of yore, 
"When gallantly our territorial fathers bore 
The brunt of effort and the tug of war — which they 
So much enjoyed that it was labor merged in play, 
Yet ever will we bless the day. 

America — no doubt reserved for pilgrim band. 
By smiling providence ordained, a glorious land — 
Had heroes to level forests and wild beasts to slay, 
Homes to build and foundations of the State to lay, 
Inspired with zeal to work and pray. 

With manly might and couragfe did our fathers toil. 
Made desert beauteous as a flower, and blest the soil 
With rich fruition. Cities by magic sprung to life,. 
Nature and art for mastery renewed the strife: — - 
Progress on every hand was rife. 


From Maine to Florida, all along the Atlantic shore, 
The call of ''Westward ho!" was heard, and heard en- 
core ;. 

"Steam has solved the problem, opened up the land; 
The western 'land of promise' — rich and vast and grand 
Within our grasp is at command." 

Charming, beauteous expanse and ready for tickling 

with the hoe. 
Responding with harvests bountiful where'er we go, 
Mesopotamia of the west with untold wealth. 
Now brought tolight, though ages hidden as by stealth, 
Elysian fields of joy and health. 

In those bright days mt only are the wants supplied, 
But royal sport is with utility allied; 
Abundant game for epicurean tastes abound; 
Fish, beasts and birds — the bounding deer pursued by 
hound — 

Here in our prairie home are found. 

Before these prairies heard the sound of puffing steamy 
The rolling stage — remembered well — was heard ancC 

With cloud of dust enclosing messages of love, 
Oft bearing joys seraphic as from realms above. 
It came as welcome as the dove. 

Faith nows its mark when now at length, to greet our 

Fair Iowa dressed in bright garb before us lies; 
Garden and heart of our great western land is seen, 
Rivers and lakes and woods and plains of verdant greeny, 
A vista of beauty on beauty's sheen. 

Well, for their settlement, the Eastern states came first 
In that vast tide of travel which from Europe burst; 
Strange paradox, howe'^er, that we, whose lot was cast 
"Away out West!" should still with Yankee land be 
classed ! 

We're under Eastern skies at last. 


Old settlers, friends in our brief time what shall we say- 
Has been the progress marked in this our IOWA? 
Dumbfounded with the query, mute, we pause and stand, 
And question back — what progress does she not com 

She challenges whate'er is grand. 

In every corner of the state, our prairies teem 
With beauty, life and energy — infused by steam 
Rivers are bridged — improved machinery made to yield 
Crops fabulous from every cultivated field; 
Progression everywhere revealed. 

Cities and towns are built, and manufactories reared. 
Churches to heaven look and schools are to homes en- 

With youth and beauty decked, our state unrivaled grows 
While nature her best gifts abundantly bestows, 
"Wilderness blossoms as the rose." 

Scenes of the former years no doubt are fresh in mind — 
Rich, racy, ludicrous and serious combined. 
The covered wagon, with its snail-pace o'er the plain — 
Now fording rivers, dodging prairie fires again, 
Prepared for sunshine, wind or rain. 

Right here, in view of these two temples of the past. 
These gorgeous palaces, with open dqors at last. 
We find unique reminder of the hardships rife 
In this new land when first engaging in the strife 
And triumphs of our border life- 

If true, the "old log cabin" is almost replaced, 
No danger that its memory will be effaced; 
The dandy and the cyclone both by it are warned, 
Wild innovations and tame fashions too are scorned.: 
Never, wliile memory lasts, transformed 


Ivand agents sharp, surveyors sharper, kept on the bound 
For tenants of tents and leaky cabins all around — 
The clash of opposing title, jargon and clash of tongue, 
The grasp of lucre by old — of heart and hand by young, 
Gave romance untold and song unsung. 

Those strudy days gave hearts for homes — found any- 
where — 

And hands expert, prepared for any fray to share. 
With tent quick spread, with banner kissing setting sun, 
Our Hawkeye, equipped with Bible, plough and uner- 
ring gun. 
Was ready for pioneer life begun. 

Two mighty rivers untired still wash our fertile shores, 
Cive North and South an interchange of wealth and 

Uniting them in one majestic stream they run. 
Visiting realms as rich as any 'neath the sun, 
And help to bind our land in one. 

While rivers — silver chains — bind such a golden land, 
Our vast interior lakes give water courses grand; 
Railroads unnumbered, level paths of travel strew; 
Have wealth untold, and steel for sinews to renew 
The work herulean they do. 

Cities, farms perfected, bright homes on every hand, 
Mark the supremacy of this Elysian land. 
Not only this, but Cupid, too, can reign supreme; 
Reality can here be found to pictured dream — 
For social life the very cream. 

Some gray heads here confess to three and four score 
years — 

Happy, we trust, in homes our country much endears. 
Some, restless and uneasy, true, made quick retreat; 
But wc, with faith unshaken, now again repeat — 
•"'Iowa City's hard to beat." 


While many valued institutions bless our town, 
To be Athens of our state it is laid down; 
And every citizen, old or young, is proud to see 
The progress of our grand ''old University." 
Exalted may it ever be ! 

In town and county some old landmarks were endeared 
By sweet associations — hallowed and revered, 
Relics like these, I shudder as I see destroyed, 
Their fate, liowe'er, seems settled ; improvement is de- 

Our sentimental thoughts enjoyed. 

For many noble comrades, gone, we drop a tear. 
Moisten the ground whereon they strove and triumphed 
here ; 

An altar to their mem'ries green, with garlands strewed, 
We fear for sacrifice of praise and thanks renewed — 
A holocaust of gratitude. 

Now to the^Old, old Settler" — glorious pioneer — 
We wish bright sunset skies, unfailing faith, good cheer! 
A goodly land you found, a manly part you bore ; 
The tide of life has borne you near the golden shore — 
Conflicts ended a ndstruggles o'er. 

Following it was an able address by Hon. L. B- Pat- 
terson, as follows: 

"I have been requested to say something to and 
about the pioneers or old settlers of Iowa — that army oi 
almost forgotten, unsung and unpensioned heroes, who, 
fifty years ago marched into what was then called the 
Territory of Iowa. They came for the purpose of ex- 
ploring a then unknown land, inhabited by savages, wild 
beasts, and the musical rattlesnake and other venomous 
reptiles. The mission of the old settlers was that of 
peace, union and fellowship ; to found a colony for civil- 
ization, Christianity, and a higher intelligence; to raise 


men and women amidst such influences as would best fit 
them for the various duties of a higher Hfe, to be 
wrought out amidst the broad plains and valleys,groves 
and pleasant .streams of a beautiiul but until then unoc- 
cupied country; to raise statesmen, heroes and heroines 
(for the times of peril and need, defenders of the state 
and nation against all assaults from every source ; hon- 
lorable, honest and intelligeet citizens to carry on the 
multifarious and diversified duties of ilife in peaceful 
times. TJiese settlers came not in companies, regiments, 
and battalions, or with unfurled flags, banners, music 
artillery, a heavy supply train, and other accompani- 
ments of a well-disciplined and organized army. 

These first invaders of Iowa marched down upon 
this goodly land for conquest in files of one, or two, 
three and four, and in single families containing some- 
thing less than a regiment of children, each man a gen- 
eral, colonel, captain, corporal or high private, as occa- 
sion might require, all which positions he filled with 
honor and credit to himself, as he believed. 

These invaders of the hunting grounds of the In- 
dians, the ranges of the buffaloes and the hiding places 
of the wild beasts of prey, came on foot, on horseback, 
or mule-back, in wagons and prairie schooners, drawn 
by the docile cow, ox, horse, or the philosophic mule, in 
which were loaded all the earthly possessions of these 
conquerors, consisting of a few household goods, a 
plough, hoes, axes, scythes, and some other agricultural 
implements, a riflle or two, a chicken coop tied to the 
back end of the wagon, in which were placed a few 
chickens, geese and turkeys, and sometimes an aristo- 
cratic pig or two, all as starters in the grand conquest to 
be made. Your six dogs to a wagon acted as detailed 
guards to this unique procession. 

These civilizers, so armed and equipped, reached 
the promised land after many weeks and sometimes 
ariDnths of weary travel, and untold hardships, in com- 


ing from their former Eastern homes^ where they had 
been surrounded with all the comforts and- conveniences 
of civilization. They arrived weary and worn out by the 
long journey they had made over muddy roads and 
swollen streams, until finally- the land of promise lay be- 
fore them, without human habitations, villages, towns 
or cities ; no cultivated fields, roads or bridges, no public 
irms to welcome a footworn traveler, only a land in its 
native condition as it was at creation's dawn, when lifted 
up by the Supreme Architect of the Universe from the 
bottom of the sea, to render it habitable by man; and the 
Irving animals^ 

There was no time for repining and reflecting m the 
minds of those adventurous, courageous men and wom- 
en; no repining for the flesh-pots of Egypt or the com- 
forts they had left behind. The Rubicon had been 
passed by them, and with a heroism not surpassed by 
any soldier on the battlefield when he bares his breast 
to the leaden storm of advancing hosts, these settlers 
gather around them their wives and little ones and strike 
out beyond the lies of civilization and settlement as a 
picket guard, where they make a claim, miles from any- 
human habitation of neighbor. Then he builds a log 
cabin, a home for his family, a fortress against savagery, 
a nucleus for civilization and democracy. Here he com- 
menced his life work of subjugating the soil and ele- 
ments to the demand of man in his best estate. We can 
readiljr imagine what a feeling of loneliness must have 
come over these settlers at night when the labors of the 
day were ended, and they had lisure to think of the lonc- 
hness of their surroundings when miles from neighbors 
and companionship — the stillness of death around them, 
save when broken by the rustling of the wind amongst 
the trees, the hooting of owls, the howling of a wolf or 
the growl of apanther, or other animals in their nightly 
carnivals; then when they thought of Eastern comforts 
left behind, the cultivated fields, the orchards and mead- 
ows, the herds of domestic animals, th^e villages, the 


to^vns, the cities, churches, school houses, pubhc roads, 
bridges and post roads, with the daily stage coach with 
passengers from afar, then all these things must have 
been recalled to them in sharp contrast with their deso- 
late and isolated surroundings- Had they not been 
brave and enduring men and women in their determi- 
nation to work out a civilization equal to and surpass- 
ing that which they had left behind, they would have 
been appalled by the magnitude of the work before them. 
Brave in heart and srong in physical endurance, cour- 
ageously they comm.enced to till the land : year by year 
their fields were increased and the claim was subjected 
to the plough and hoe : orchards and meadows, barns, 
new homes, churches and school houses were seen as the 
results of this second creation. Iowa had begun ta 
sprout and grow by the efforts and labor of your hands 
and heads and that of your co-workers. All honor to the 
crusaders of Iowa, and to that small remnant that still 
survive the wreck of time. Go back and recall your first 
view of Johnson county. You saw a vast unlimited 
undulating plain with a small strip of timber along the 
rivers and creeks, with no inhabitants save the wander- 
ing tribes of Sac and Fox Indians. Xo signs whatever 
of civilization. Just as it was at creation's dawn, lonely, 
desolate, still — no sounds of civilization throughout its 
entire boundaries. Behold it now, ye survivors of the 
invasion made by you a half century since, and note the 
changes as if by fair hands or enchanter's wand in 1890 
you see almost an earthly paradise, a county containing 
near thirty thousand happy, intelligent inhabitants, your 
rolling prairie lands covered with the fields of the farm- 
ers, on which are grown your corn, wheat, oats, hay, 
potatoes and other vegetable products for the support 
of man and beast, your orchards and meadow-ands, your 
beautiful residences surrounded with all the comforts 
and luxuries of life, your well-filled barns and granar- 
ies, your stables of blooded stock, your pastures with 
herds of blooded cattle, with horns and without, fine- 
haired sheep, last 1)ut not least, your high-bred porker 


with his musical voice as he calls aloud for more corn, 
your highvv^ays, passing along every forty acre tract, 
your bridges spanning all the rivers and creeks, yoar 
prosperous villages, tov^ns and cities filled with stores, 
shops, churches and school houses,, academies and a Uni- 
versity, your creameries and dairies which turn out the 
golden butter for our bread, which would make the lips 
of royalty smack. 

Our railroads with their heavily loaded trains thun- 
dering all over the county, the whistles of whose loco- 
motives have superceded the hootings of the owl, the 
scream of the panther and the howl of the wolf. 

These material achievemsents are the legitimate 
outgrowth to a great extent of your labor in subduing 
and cultivating the rich soil of Iowa. You laid the foun- 
dation and made it possible to build this unique monu- 
ment of material and intellectual prosperity. I must 
not overlook the children, now stalwart men and women, 
you have given to the state and nation, who are able ta 
take up the battle of life when you retire and bear the 
burdens you have borne with more ease and success by 
reason of the increased opportunities you have been able 
to give them. These be the jewels and diamonds by 
which the monument you have been so industriously 
building shall be crowned- Already you have sacrificed 
many sons to uphold the integrity of the state and na- 
tion. Many of them remain who are competent to fill the 
higher positions of life (so-called), as legislators for the 
state or nation, or to stand before kings in defense of the 
principles of American freemen. 

These foundation-builders of a higher prosperity and 
civilization will be remembered in history among the 
benefactors of their race, and as time rolls off her years 
into eternity, your hardships, trials, sufferings and good 
works in laying the foundation of this grand state, will 
be more fully appreciated by your descendants and those 
coming after, and future generations of your descend- 
ants, wherever situated, shall rise up and call you blessed 

We stand with uncovered heads before the remnant 
of the Old Settlers of Iowa, knowing something of the 
trials and hardships of life through which they have 
bravely passed. May your remaining days be made 
pleasant by the reflection, that you have accomplished 
much by assisting in laying, broad and deep, he founda- 
tions of the great state of Iowa, whose superstructure 
shall continue from generation to generation, a thing of 
beauty, a joy forevermore to the sons and daughters 

The choir then sang impressively, the grand old 
song, '^Auld Land Syne," the audience uniting. 

Prof. Parvin delivered the closing address which, be- 
ing extemporaneous, we cannot give verbatim. He said 
that when asked to speak on this occasion, a few days 
ago, he ''burned the midnight oil" and prepared an ad- 
dress on ''The Work of Women in the Early Pioneer 
Days," but since coming to the fair grounds, President 
Lathrop had requested him to talk of the location of the 
capitol at lov/a City, and especially the laying of the 
corner stone of the capitol, July 4, 1840. The professor 
then gave a historical account of the appointment of the 
three commissioners to locate the capitol. They were 
Chauncey Swan of Dubuque county, John Ronalds of 
Louisa county, and Robert Ralston of Des Moines 
county. Prof. Parvin was with them when they came to 
the site now occupied by Iowa City. There was no 
dwelling house within three miles of the spot selected 
as the future capitol. No doubt the existence of a stone 
quarry nearby had much to do with the selection of the 
location in this part of Johnson county. The Professor 
said that the Fourth of July, 1840, was a memorable day. 
A little 1)and gathered on the spot where the central 
stone l)ui]ding of the State University now stands, and 
unfurled the stars and stripes from the top of a tree- The 
corner stone was laid with appropriate ceremonies, Col. 
vS. C. Trowbridge acting as Marshal of the day and Gov. 
Lucas delivering the oration. Prof. Parvin's description 


of this event was very interesting^. The choir rendered 
"Marching Through Georgia" with fine effect, after 
which the audience dispersed, feehng that this was the 
largest and best of all the "Old Settlers' Picnics" yet 

When Prof. Parvin asked all to rise, who were with 
him July 4, 1840, when the corner stone was laid, several 
men and women stood up and were greeted with three 
cheers. It was a thrilling incident. 

President Lathrop requested Mr. "Phil." Clark ta 
stand up on the platform so that the audience might see 
the man who was instrumental in having* the capital 
located at Iowa City. Mr. Clark rode forty miles to 
Louisa county to bring Mr. Ronalds, one of the Commis- 
sioners, whose presence was necessary to make a 
quorum- Only twenty-four- hours remained in which the 
Commissioners could legally act, and it is believed by 
many that Mr. Ronalds purposely remained away in the 
interest of another place which wanted the capitol. But 
Phil. Clark volunteered to go, found Ronalds and 
brought him here on time. No wonder the audience 
gave Phil. Clark three cheers for his ride, which was 
something like "Phil." Sheridan's. 

— ^2— 

25tli Annual Reunion, August 19, iSgi- 

The 25th annual reunion of the Old Settlers held 
Wednesday, August 19, 1891, was an exceedingly pleas- 
ant gathering. The day waas warm but not oppressive 
as several days previous. In the forenoon the old set- 
tlers gathered on the Fair Ground, and their greeting of 
one another showed the strength of the fraternal feel- 
ing existing between the early pioneers. 

After the dinner was finished, the meeting was called 
to order by the President, Hon, H. W. Lathrop. Vocal 
music was furnished by a quartette consisting of Capt. 
A. B. Cree and wife, Mrs. Will Bowen and Prof. Hast- 
ings, with Miss Mae McCree at the organ. They favored 
a delighted audience with a number of songs splendidly 
rendered. Major C. F- lyovelace was introduced and 
pleased the audience with early reminiscences and re- 
called many incidents of men and things of the long ago. 

Hon. H. W. Lathrop then read a poem written for 
the occasion, v/hich contained many gems and possess- 
ed no small literary merit- It is as follows : 

Read at the Reunion of the Old Settlers of Johnson 
County, August 19, 1891, by H. W. Lathrop. 
From forty years of soundest sleep. 
Continuous, prolonged and deep 
Awake a while, my drowsy Muse, 
Nor now your kindliest aid refuse, 
Drop from your lyres one pleasant verse 
While I recount of early years 
The story of our pioneers. 
When Philip Clark and Eli Myers 
First left the hearth-stones of their sires. 
To found within the wilderness 
Homes that themselves and friends would l)less; 
Where Trowbridge, Sanders and the Frys 
Could live l)eneath benignant skies 
And spend the balance of their lives 
In peace and comfort with their wives, 


And fill their homes with earthly joys 
And hearty, virtuous girls and boys. 
Where church, the press and common school, 
Without exception are the rule 
And where a deep and fertile soiil 
Would give reward for all their toil. 
Where Swisher, Kerr and Winterstein 
Could overturn the prairies green. 
And till each one the fertile field 
That should the golden harvest yield. 
Where gentle rain distils in drops 
To irrigate the glowing- crops; 
And where those crops will not be lost 
By drouth, or flood or chilling frost, 
And where the balmy breeze may fan 
The fervid brow of lab'ring man. 
Where Wilson, in the great North Bend 
His herds and flocks in peace may tend. 
And where along each flowing creek 
The wild, v/ild game the hunters seek ; 
And where with most unerring skill 
The deer and wolf and ducks they kill. 
Wliere Carleton with his lore profound. 
His country's laws could well expound, 
And teach us from judicial bench 
On other's rights not to entrench. 
For he'd a sherifi who was Abel 
To lock us in the county stable. 
In other words, who would not fail 
To lock us in the county jail, 
If we were guilty of the crime 
Of stealing prose or stealing rhyme- 
Where Folsom, Reagan, legal giants, 
Maintained the causes of their clients 
And made, when 'twas not crime or treason, 
"The worse appear the better reason." 
And to the jury in the box 
Explained each seeming paradox, 


And made tlieir case, though black as nighty 
Appear Hke brilliant noonda}^ light. 
And where our Clarks and George Paul 
Could sit in legislative hall, 
And make for us most wholesome laws 
In favor of fair Freedom's cause, 
A_nd v/here the prujter Thomas Hughes, 
Would publish for us all the news, 
And where, to do the state most good,. 
They made a governor of Kirkwood, 
Which v\^as, as you will all remember. 
The best of gubernatorial timber. 
Where Dr. Murray with his pills 
Could cure 3^ou of your various ills, 
And when the dreaded fever and ague 
Came on w^ith chills and sweats to plague you, 
With sulphate quinine would assure you 
He could effectuall}/- cure you. 
\¥here Lathrop could collect his scholars 
And trade his learning for their dollars; 
But in him it was very rash 
To tradel so little for their cash. 
And when this learning was imparted 
The stock was left with which he started. 
He never traded them his rhymes, 
Reserving those for other times- 
Where Gaymon never put on airs, 
But made us most substantial chairs; 
Where Roberts, who was christened Peter, 
Made tables, bureaus, always neater 
Than his competitor, Mr. Cropper, 
(But T have told a startling whopper) 
As all their goods when made of wood, 
Were very, very, VERY good. 
Indeed, so all their various wares 
AVere firm and strong, like Gaymon's chairs. 
In early times wc had a Gower 
That on us his dry goods would shower. 
And l)y llic yard and by the bolt 


They were dealt out by Joseph Holt 
Who was his partner in the trade. 
A strong and heavy firm they made, 
And sold their goods as was their luck 
For ready cash and "country truck." 
If you had neither and you said it, 
They'd sell you goods upon your credit, 
And get their pay when, by hard work 
You harvested your crop of pork. 
In those old times at church on Sunday 
We never met with Mrs. Grundy, 
For then the pictured fashion plate 
Was never peddled in our state. 
And in their neat and plan homespun. 
Our belles were w^ooed and beaux were won. 
Each one engaged in honest labor, 
And each was equal to his neighbor ; 
Each was to each a friend and brother, 
And no one fek above another. 
In eighteen hundred thirty-eight 
Proud Iowa became a state, 
Or rather to make true my story, 
She then was made a territory. 
The month, as history has averred. 
Was hot July, the da}^ the third- 
More wolves, elk, deer did she have then, 
Than stalwart, vigorous, full-grown men. 
And in her rivers were more fish 
Than any epicur© could wish. 
W^ith birds of every plume and feather. 
In rainy, fair or cloudy weather ; 
Our groves and copses all were filled. 
More than by hunters could be killed. 
W^ild turkey, duck and prairie hen, 
Made food to suit the best of men. 
While flesh of tender fawn and deer 
Was quite enough to give good cheer. 
And in the groves were plums so fair 
They took the place of fruit more rare; 


And in the timber were blackberri'es, 
More rich than Early Richmond cherries^ 
And ripe and luscious red strawberries^ 
Were gathered on our native prairies. 
From small pappoose to Powesheik, 
Red men were here on every creek, 
And though they were not over good 
They never thirsted for our blood. 
They v/ere not fascinating neighbors, 
Nor w^ere they fond of severe labors, 
Were mostly sane, not often crazy. 
But most incorrigibly lazy. 
In their rude dances they were frisky, 
And alwa^^s very fond of whisky 
But they are gone and o'er their graves 
No mournful weeping willow waves. 
These graves unmarked by sign of sorrow- 
Are checkered by the plowman's furrow, 
Devoid of monumental stone 
Their very places are unknown. 
Where once was the rude Indian trail 
There now is laid the iron rail. 
Where Indian ponies took their courses. 
Is heard the snort of iron horses. 
And Indian whoops, of fear promotive. 
Displaced by screams of locomotive; 
Weighed down with products of the plains 
Are ponderous lengthy railroad trains. 
In cariy times was Frank and Walker, 
Wliose teams often contained a balker, 
'{'o every point of compass bore us, 
Witli driver humming merry chorus. 
And the l)est driver on the seat 
Was steady, sober John Van Fleet. 
Our county seat and Muscatine, 
1'hree times a week tliey plied betv/een, 
'I'ill laler years wlien Porter, Colonel, 
Sent out his coach and teams diurnal. 


Then after him came iron horses, 

That drove his teams from all their eourses. 

Not in cold stage through winter's storm. 

We ride in coaches now made warm^ 

Nor do our toes and fingers shiver 

Riding o'er plain or over riven 

Stage coach, from slough no more we delve it^ 

But ride on cushioned seats of velvet ; 

Instead of driver whipping team^ 

The grimy fireman gets up steam. 

Five miles an hour, we traveled slow,. 

Now forty miles an hour we go. 

On Time's broad guide-board we will plaster 

The fact that we are growing faster. 

And that v/e've left the deep old ruts 

Yet Vvathout any "ifs" or "buts," 

And that in every forward movement 

Is seen our progress and improvement.. 

Our aged poet, friend Magill, 

Who all his duties did fulfill. 

Has gone beyond this mortal shore^ 

And v^e shall hear his rhymes no more.. 

But we have yet within our reach. 

Our other poet, Abel Beach, 

Whose rhythmic learning, rich and rare, 

W'e hope he long v/ith us may share. 

Old Settlers all, to you good cheeer t 

I hope v/e'll meet again next year, 

And that our earthly race will run 

Beyond the year of ninety-one, 

And that we one and all may woo^ 

The August gales of ninety-two ; 

And that our going hence may be 

Beyond the year of ninety-three. 

We cannot now much longer stay,. 

We one by one fast pass away. 

Let's live, that when our race is run, 

The meed of praise will be, WELL DONE. 


After this, the afternoon was spent in visiting and 
social converse. 

Last March the Constitution of the Association was 
amended so as to have the election of officers held at the 
reunion, and accordingly an election was held, but there 
seems to have been some misunderstanding as to the 
part of the grounds the election was to be, and it hap- 
pened there were two elections- At the election at the 
secretary's stand, the following were chosen : H. W. 
Lathrop, President; J. G. Brown, Vive-President; John 
Fry, Second Vice-President; Henry Wieneke, Secreary; 
J. Record, Treasurer and E. Shepherd, G. R. Irish, S. J. 
Hess, George Paul and h. S. SwafTord, Executive Com- 
mittee- At the other election, there was no record kept 
of the officers sdected but L. B. Patterson was chosen 
'president, J. W. Eee and S- P. Fry, Vice-President, and 
Mr. Wieneke Secretary and Treasurer. 

Among some of the first pioneers present were no- 
ticed E. M. Adams, J. G. Brown and wife,James Mc- 
G ruder, Isaac Bowen, M. Ten Eyck, James Graham, 
Bryan Dennis, Joseph and Henry Walker, J. B. Swaf- 
ford and wife, M. H. Carson, Joseph Hemphill, George 
Paul, Captain Dennis and wife, John Fry, S. P. Fry and 
many others, whose names, for lack of space, it is impos- 
sible to give- All were gratified to see Sylvanus John- 
son, who came to Iowa in 1837, ^-^^cl for the last year has 
been confined to his home by ill-health . He made thr 
first brick in this city. 

Twenty-Sixth Annual Reunion, Aug. 18, 1892. 

The twenty-sixth annual picnic and reunion of tlie 
Johnson County Old Settlers' Association was held at 
the Fair Grounds on Thursday, August 18, 1892, and in 
point of attendance was very successful, the company 
being perhaps the largest that has 3^!et gathered on such 
an occasion. They came early, and not a few from a 
considerable distance, r.nd many pleasant meetings there 
were on the grounds between the pioneers of 1837-40. 


ancl the recalling of early times, the hardships, the pleas- 
ures, the gatherings and sports of early days. Tliere 
were, too, recollections of those who had been conspicu- 
ous m the Association, who, since its last meeting have 
crossed over to the great majority, but whose names 
and acts are yet household words. 

According to the "Johnson County History," the 
first formal organization of the Old Settlers' Association 
was in 1866,. the constitution being adopted March lOth. 
and the first picnic held June 21st of that year, but there 
was an organization of earlier date. It has each year 
since at least held an annual meeting, and in most cases 
a reriuion gathering. The recent erection of the log cab- 
ins in the handsome orchard on th^ Fair Grounds has 
given the Association a "home," and greatly strength- 
ened it. One of these cabins is of unhewn logs, and 
represents the primitive forest-built home of the first 
white men of Johnson county; the other is built from 
hewn logs of later years. In each are many relics of 
b3^gone days — articles of furniture, tools and appliances, 
the gifts of pioneers and their families. 

The picnic dinner was held on the grounds, each 
family brought its own lunch, and they ^gathered in 
groups beneath the cool shade or sought the opened 
buildings, as they preferred. The coffee, which repre- 
sents the highest culinary skill of the pioneer, was sup- 
plied by Mrs. Henry J. Wieneke, and called out a world 
of praises. 

Among those present on the grounds during the 
day were noted the following : 
R. B. Saunders E. W. Lucas 

John Ranshaw D. M. Dixon 

Wm. V. Orr Henry Bick 

A. M. Wescott Robert Simpson 

Gil R. Irish Robert Denton 

E. R. Barnel KB. Patterson 

Benj. Ritter Jno. R. Heath 

Austin Cole H, W. Lathrop 

George Magruder Jas. T, Robinson 

Peter Rohret Henry J, Wi^eke 

Henry Speight Joseph Walker 

— 100 — 

Luther Lee 
John Struble 
Sylvanus Johnson 
Chas. Pratt 
Alex Graham 
George Schleuck 
Mrs. Frank Kimball 
Frank Parrott 
Joseph Payn 
Mrs. Sehorn 
A. W. Beuter 
G. W. Koontz 
Wm. Nelson 
Henry F. Byrd 
Lemuel Hunter 
Jajcob Kloos 
Chas. E. Colony 
Jacob Beard 
L. A Allen 
Elias Howell 
Geo. T. .Borland 
W. D. Cannon 
"Samuel P. Fry 
W. J. Runyon 
John A. Stevenson 
A. R. Cherry 
'Phil E. Shaver 
Garrett Lancaster 
M. A. Snyder 
Stawder DeVault 
Wm. Buchanan 
Mrs. Eliza McCrory 
Thomas B. Allin 
Henry Walker 
Mrs. Mary O. Coldren 
George Peppel 
James Tucker 
Leroy Rundell 
M. Carroll 

Miss Hannan Ten Eyck 
Chas. Hubner 
.lames Stevens 
Wm. Windrem 
.fas. R. Hartsock 
Isaac Weeber 
Thos. M. Irish 
John H, Clark 

Mrs. N. R. Parviii 

F, A. Stratton 
W. R. Ogle 

W. P. Hohenschuh 
Henry F, Beutler 
W. P. Smitli 
Jos. C. Stouffer 
Thos. Metcalf 
M. B. Cline 
K. A. Powell 
Jacob Roessler 
Chas. Schump 
M. B. Cochran 
Chas. Gaymon 
John Colony 
Isaac Furbish 
Lorimer Douglas 
R. A. Keene 
I. V. Dennis 
A. O. Price 

G. R. Hall 
Hez Hamilton 
Wm. Sweet 
A. E. Swisher 

G. W Fleming 

C. S. Springer 
W. N. Chalfant 
Mrs. E. Chalfant 
■Peter Coyle 

H. H. Kerr 

D. Corlett 
Thos Wilson 
Horace Sanders 
C. S. Roessler 
Mrs. E. Cohick 
W. J. Huff 
Henry Springmyer 
Wm Douglas 

M. Ten Eick 
Bryan Dennis 
Calvin G. Moore 
Mrs. H. B. McCullough 
Nat W. Scales 
Thos. Graham 
H. S. FaliVall 
W. E. Pratt 
Emory Westcot 

— lor — 

€. E. Clifford 
Jonas Hartman 
M A. Humphries 
J. A. Smiley 
M. A. Adams 
Isaac Bowen 
B. R. Barnes 
Virgil Hartsock 
Eugene A. Lee 
M. J. Kirkpatrick 
t>. W. Hitchcock 
R. M. Roup 
Abel Beach 
J. C. Wilson 
Mrs. N. A. McElwain 
N. Scales 

J. M. Adams 

John A. Burke 

€. M. Calkins 

Daniel Crozier 

Jas. McKray 

J. W. Hart 

Benj. Owen 

M. J, Robbins 

A. H. Graham 

Mrs. R. L. Ruppin 

A. W. Leonard 

J. L. Abrams 

Mrs. Sarah A. Myers 

David Borts 

J. W. Schell 

H. Alt 

N. Dalscheid 

Many of these were accompanied by their wives 
and children, and with the friends and guests they made 
lip a number exceeding one thousand persons. 

The annual business meeting was held under tlie 
shady apple trees, and the following officers elected : 

President, L. B. Patterson Iowa City. 

Vice-President, Henry Vvalker, River Jtniction, la. 

Secretary, Henry J. Wieneke, Iowa City, Iowa. 

Treasurer, Jacob Ricord, Iowa City, Iowa. 

On motion, the president v/as directed to appoint 
the executive committee. 

At two o'clock. President H. W. Lathrop called 
the company together, and presented Mr. Abel Beach, 
v/hose residence here goes back to the fifties, wdio, after 
a sliort address by way of preface, read the annual poem, 
which dealt with the early history and se'ttlers of the 
county in entertaining verse. 

Mr. Z. M. Griswold was introduced and sang a song 
of pioneer times that was received with marked ap- 

Mr. F. M. Banner was called out, and in a brief 
talk dwelt upon the need of moral and religious train- 
ing for the young. 

There were gatherings of neighborly groups, plans 
:for the futurej discussed, visits again to the old cal)ins, 

— 102 — 

good byes, and the reunion of 1892 was added to the 
history of the Johnson County Old Settlers Association. 

Mrs. Sarah A. Myers, whose residence' in the county 
dates back to before 1840, was at the reunion, and re- 
ceived the congratulations of many old friends. 

Mrs.N. A. McElwaine, whose marriage license and 
ceriiiicate is recorded as No. i, in what is now Johnson 
county, and her daughter, Mrs. H. B. McCullough, were 
present and participated in the reunion. 

Twenty-Seventh Annual Reunion, August 24, 1893. 

On August 24th, 1893, the 27th annual reunion of 
the Johnson County Old Settlers' Association was held 
at r-he fair grounds. 

The morning was given up to friendly greetings, 
hearty hand-clasps, reminiscent talks of the days of 
''auld lang syne," and strolling, cabin-visiting, and when 
Old vSol rose high in the heavens, partaking of a boun 
teous repast upon nature's own table, beneath the spread- 
ing boughs of fragrant apple trees. 

, The follov\Aing program was presented : 

10 to 12 o'clock Greetings of Old Settlers 

12 to 1 p. m Dinner 

1:30 p. m Old Hundred 

Election of Officers. 

Song Pioneer's Greeting 

^Poem by Abel Beach Read by M. Cavanaugh 


Address, "Pioneer Life" Mrs. B. Dennis 

Old Settlers' Hymn A, Beach 

Poem J. B. Schofield 

"Reminiscences of Pioneer Women" H. W. Lathrop 


Soldiers Aid Society of Johnson County Mrs. N. H. Brainerd 

Song Mr. Griswold 

The following is Mr. Beaches poem: 

In the varied experience here of our lives, 
Where the lot has been cast for each mortal that strives. 
We stand waiting to determine what the future holds in store. 
Taken coolly by some, by others in a huff. 
We are bound to admit that the world's pretty rough. 

— 103- 

There are things to rejoice about but much we must deplore, 

The high mountains and hills and deep gorges betv/een, 
With rocks dismal — where life does not dare to be seen, 
Dispel dreams with tint of romance which we pictured in 
our youth, 

Then ravines which are haunted with ravenous beasts 
That incessantly war, to make victims for their feasts, 
Are realities in nature when devoid of kindly ruth. 

^nd deserts in some parts vvill blister the feet — 

And in others huge icebergs with fierce clashings meet. 

Wide extremes of heat and cold v/e learn are given us below. 

Inundations at times tell of deluging rains 

Then the next season drouths may consume fertile plains; 

So what v/e may expect the very wisest little know. 

The grim maelstrom that sv/allows up ships into the main. 
And the cyclone's destructive track over the plain — 
With the whirling of waters and the fickle air above 
Serve to show how uncertain the foothold of life 
And the spectral cloud shadowing sad worldly strife — 
Unless faith can find rewarding in the surer realms of love. 

In some sections vast swamps miasmatic infest 

Earth and sky with contagious diseases and unrest; 

And anon the boundless forests — grov/th of centuries — defy 

The approach of the Vv^oodman who shoulders his axe 

And his guns, which the contests of nature will tax. 

To provide a home for loved ones in the early by and by. 

Tigers, lions, and leopards, and reptiles abound — 
In dark dens and thick jungles, far east they are found; 
So that life and rapacity is but the gate of death. 
In our own native wilds man has still m.ortal foes — 
Ever menacing life where life's weak pilgrim goes — 
While a transient breath of happiness preludes the parting 

Safe esconsced in his lair crawls the grim mountain bear 
And the wildcat and panther seek prey — growing rare; 
But instinctively dominion they concede to man's behest. 
Rugged slopes of the ' rtockies" give countless retreats 
For v/ild game that the hunter so willingly meets. 
Which impress romantic regions with an ever-living zest. 

E'en though nature gives trials unheard of in song, 
Man will strive undismayed when not filled v/ith wrong; 
Glimipsing back through countless ages strange vicissitudes 
we scan! 

— ro4 — 

But we witness no terrors in all the wide world 
So appalling as some he himself has unfurled; 
And man finds his roughest contact is relationship with man,. 

In mythology's story, Phometheus stole- 

Flames from heaven to kindle our clay-fashioned soul; 

But the sacrilegious act, condemned, incurred all human illst 

Heaven's pity alone could have served to restrain; 

Jove's pent anger for trespass on his fair domain, 

Thereupon the dire "Pandora's Box" unlocked, creation fills;. 

iPioneers, while the evening gleams now tinge oar brows. 

We remember the dawning which lit early vows — 

Angels listening to our footsteps in the corridors of time. 

And v/e feel, as the sunset distinctly appears. 

There was much in our age to make glad all our yqars; 

But I fear they were too mortal rough to render them sublime:.. 

Wliile our present ills constantly hover in sight, 

Gversha,dowing promising prospects made bright; 

The uncertain sky, with shifting clouds continually is flecked,.. 

But the vista of years will reveal them afar 

Ficm the hallov/ing future — gates open ajar^ — 

And asperities will soften in redeeming retrospect. 

Nov/, 01:1 Settlers, look round, and how few v/ill you find 
Of our once gallant compatriots left to remind 
Longing hearts of days of "Auld Lang Syne when young hailed' 
the west! 

But with sighs for the ■'■<rted, again we will greet 
One another with joy — while permitted to meet — 
And v/e hope to smooth each pathv/ay to the portals of sweet 

Ini^Ht daily v/e hear of some brave Pioneer 
V-/;:o laid down the burden assigned him here, 
'[']](■ i^'ioit life of trials leCt for one of peaceful love. 
r.r- yc; ready, Iikc;v/i3e, rny good friends, for ye know 
Not the hour svlxcn you, too. will be summoned to go; 
W'^ arc wail lag, only v/niting, for a better home above. 

Iowa City, Aug. 21, 189.1. ABEL BEACH'... 

(Sweet By and By.) 
Ci'Of.t your glad golden age, Pioneers, 
For the glorious blessings you share, 
And rejoice tliat the brightest of years 
Were reserved for yoiii- heritage fair. 

— 105— 

€liOnis — 'Tis well done, every one — 

The rich harvest is ripe — enter in! 
Keap reward, every one 

The rich harvest is ripe — enter in! 

The v/ilderness fell with a stroke — 

The broad prairie is decked with the rose — 

Before art, opposition is broke — 

In the stream of progression that flows. — Cho. 

The great West, like Minerva, has sprung 

From elysian fxelds you have trod; 
The bright plow cleaves its plains which are sung — 

The terrestial garden of God. — Cho. 

Happy day which still lingers, endeared, 

With the lustre of glory will shine; 
And the columns of faith you have reared 

The bright chaplet of faith will entwine. — Cho. 

In tlie fullness of time is nov/ seen 
The fair fruits of your labor of love. 

Constellations of heavenly sheen 

Light your pathway to regions above. — Cho. 

With overflowing words and hearts 

We meet and greet once more. 
Old Settlers, thankful for their parts. 
Rejoice in days of yore. 

Reflecting o'er the recent past — 
AVith dangers right and left, 
We're grateful that God's mercies last, 
And we no more bereft. 

In Him we live and move and breathe, 

We would our God extol, 
Arrange for Him the royal wreaths, 

And "Crown Kim Lord of all." 

The world is spread v/ith tokens fair 

Of comprehending love; 
Both heaven and earth receive the care 

Of majesty above. 

His knowledge pierces every thought, 

— ic6— 

His mercy Idsses power; ""^ 
With wisdom by Omniscience taught, ' ^ 

We joy in Him each hour. 

Joy in the love — His crown of thorns, ' 

Beclouded brought to sight; 
Joy in the crown that now adorns 

With transcendental light. • 

Ye noble sons of pioneers 
Who gave for you their day. 

Remember them in coming years. 
Greet them while yet they stay. 

No heritage more fair than this, 

No richer dower is found; 
Increase the legacy of bliss 

Till seraphs catch the sound. 

But little space from cradle rest. 

To when we kiss the sod. 
And heaven delights when earth is blest 

With trusting sons of God. 


Much has been said to you today 

About Old Settlers, both in prose and rhymes, 
But I must strike a minor key 

And sing for you about more modern times. 

But Johnson County's still the theme. 
She is the pride of all the West — 

A land that flows with milk and cream. 
With comb and honey, too, she's blest. 

Her vinyards, too, yield precious fruit. 
Though two could easily carry a vine. 

Yet nevertheless when managed right 
They give us sweet and fragrant wine. 

But we'll not stop to reason why 

This beverage does intoxicate; 
There are some who like it very weak 

Others prefer to take it straight. 

Drink to their shame like one of old 
Till sense and reason leaves her throne, 

For such the prohibition law 
Should be In force for them alone. 

— io7 — 

Others will take what nature gives, 
T' invigorate tiie heart of man; 

Let conscience draw the line and say- 
Do this or that on wisest plan. 

There are many wise and steady men 
Whom v/e all know will take their wine, 

■Whether they take it mixed or straight 
Is no affair of yours or mine. 

Leaving this theme for temperance folks, 
I'll strike another key and sing 

Of men, who one and all believe 

That corn, not whiskey, is the king. 

To begin in alphabetic style. 

The first, you'll easily guess his name, 
A poet and philosopher of more than 

Late or local fame. 

T7hene'er he speaks, we recognize 
True culture and refinement join 
In unison with v/ith common sense 
And ready wit, these all combine. 

To sixow to us a good, true man. 
Living among us just the same; 
In after years his name we'll write 
Way up in G, on scroll of fame. 

Two others, Iowa City friends. 

Are Austin Cole and his good wife. 

"They've lived together fifty years, 
And faced the ups and downs of life. 

And their time seen better days 

When fortune's smiles to them were lent. 
But 'mid life's changing scenes, I doubt 
If they were ever more content. 

They seem to me like voyagers, 

With sails all furled on harbor's crest. 
Awaiting now the trusty pilot 
To bring them to the port of rest. 

We now move on one letter more. 

And read aright, tis A. B. C, 
The initials of one, true and brave, 

Whom we all know as Captain Cree. 

We hope and trust he nevermore 

— ro8~ 

Will meet his country's foes again. 
As oft they met in days gone by. 
On rampart, in rifle pit, and plain. 

But should he be compelled to draw 
His sword. Our country to defend. 

We feel assured 'twill ne'er be sheathed 
Only in honor till the end. 

Dixon and his good wife come next. 

May pleasures true, in years to come. 
Gather 'round them, though they've left 

The farm, to dwell in a city home. 

But town life cannot be compared 
To pleasures on a farm well kept. 

True independence there he found; 
His crops were growing while he slept. 

Many others I could name. 
Who've sought in city life a change. 

After a while, the town's too small. 
They thirst again for wider range. 

And agriculture suits the best. 
The off spring of the pioneers; 
Stick to your farm, the surest road, 
For health and wealth for coming years. 

With improved farm machinery. 
In the furrows you need not plod; 
Less work for hands, but more for brain, 
To turn and fertilize the sod. 

God gave you both, and may He give 
To each stout heart and willing mind. 

To serve yourselves and thus serve Him, 
Through brotherly love to all mankind. 

That when some dire calamity 

From flood, or fire, or cyclone's breath, 
O'ertakes a portion of our land. 

Its pathway marked by waste and death. 

We then shall feel in all their force. 
While o'er their fate we deeply grieve. 

The words of Christ, 'tis far more bl€st. 
For us to give than to receive. 

— log — 

And be assured he truly lives 

Foremost is civilization's van, 
V7ho stoops to conquer self, and gives 

His hand to help his fellow man. 

This brings to memory one more name, 
That lives in each lowan's heart, 

That fought beneath the starry flag, 
Or in our civil strife took part. 

The name I scarcely need to breathe. 
Because you've guessed in right enough, 

Samuel J. Kirkwood, you all know, 
A grand, pure diamond in the rough. 

But when he's called to higher life. 

Its higher, purer joys to share, 
A polished gem he'll shine more bright. 

And immortelles forever v/ear. 

His worthy spouse, we'll not forget. 

Truly a helpmate for him meet. 
She, too, will shine with radiance pure, 

And thus to him make heaven complete. 

Many whose names we may recall, 
Have left this earthly sphere of ours. 

Since last we met one year ago. 
Two dwell, we trust, in fairest bowers. 

Those dear friends who knew them best, 
Most keenly feel their loss — but all 

Will miss each kind, familiar face. 
As one by one they droop and fall. 

Cohick and Sanders, Walker, too. 
And Matthew Ten Eyck, we miss. 

Prom their past record we infer 

They've found more genial clime than this. 

Their virtues let us emulate. 

And shun what conscience deems amiss. 
Act on the Golden Rule while here. 

That we may meet in realms of bliss. 

To close, these gallant pioneers. 
In wisdom built for future times. 

Great institutions, may they last 
Forever, thus I'll end these rhymes. 

August 24, 1893. 


eeT tCt,^;^^^^^^^^ '^Reminiscences of PiL 

iscences of ^io^er^t ' SL^XM^r^^a^X 

ei'ht fants W^^^^^ "'""^ ''''' ^--^y 

ei^nt James V/aiKer, are now living. Thirty eip-hl 

; I ^^-^ ^^^w living; James 

S^^^'m'"^' o^"-"'^ J; ^' ^'""^^''^ Jeremialf siover 

fames fV o ^T^'''. ^'''''^ ^"^^ ^--^ anci 

ames Hi.i. One hundred and nineteen came in 18^0 • 

were heads of families; twelve are Hving no^r] 
h. M. Adams, Moses Adams, Isaac Bowen, Brvan Dennis 
I_ V. Dennis \Vm. B. Ford, Jonas Hartman, Sylvanus 
Johnson. 1. N. Sanders, Presley Connelly and Wenzel 
Plummer. Mr. Ricord's paper in full is as follows • 

In a pleasant town in one of the Eastern states in 
ib3o, there was a company of men and women assembled 
seekmg a land beyond the great river, hundreds of mi^e. 

It IS of those pioneer women that I write. Thev 
were leaving home, kindred and friends to go to unknown 

The preparations were all made and their friends had 
gathered to bid them good bye. All glory vanished 
in the presence of the valor of those beautiful young wom- 
en. There niay have been a tremor of the lips, as a 
rose leaf trembles in the sough of the south wind, and 
there may have been the starting of a tear, like a dew 
drop shaken from the antlers of a water lily. But with 
seh' possession and resolution that a man can never reach, 
and only a woman's heart ran compass, they sacrificed 
self to the task before them and cried the words: "Dear 
father, dear mother, good bye." 

They were on the road with the words of their kind- 
red and friends, "May God bless you," ringing in their 

The young women had command of the leader. The 

—Ill — 

first camp supper is prepared and over, and they spread 
their beds m the open air. Days and weeks their slow- 
ly moving tram traveled tov/ards the setting sun, crossing 
the rivers in Indian canoes. 

They have now arrived on the banks of tthe great 
river, and the danger of crossing the Mississippi flood is 
before them. A fiat ferry boat was all there was for 
them to cross over in. 

The women and a wagon of supplies, drawn by a yoke 
of oxen, and men sufficient to man the boat, were'^the first 
to cross. In the middle of the river, the oxen backed off 
the boat and hung by a rope on one corner. Soon there 
v/as a cry, "The boat is shipping water." 

At that critical moment it was a woman's hand that 
seized an ax and cut the rope which cleared the boat from 
the oxen ; but they followed the boat to the western shore. 
When all were safely landed, the women immediately es- 
tablished a camp. By evening the last boat was over, 
landing without accident. They were now on the west- 
ern shore of the great river. 

After a day's rest they took up their line, of march 
toward the setting sun. In a few days they arrived on 
the banks of the Iowa river. Now their journey was 
ended and the real work commenced, making claims and 
building cabins to live in. 

Ere one month rolled by the once happy band was 
separated, each family living on their claim in cabins of 
their own. Still there was more danger for these brave 
women to face. 

They were awakened in the stillness of the night by 
the howl of the wolf, and the growl of the bear, and the 
scream of the panther, and in the day time they were ter- 
rified by the wild Indian prowling around their cabin. 

As the years fled by, these young women spun and 
wove the cloth and made the garments for the families, 
which helped to make the settlement a success. They 
brought the bible with them and organized the Sunday 
school. They were superintendent and teacher, and 


with their women's work assisted in building the school 
houses and the churches, and in laying the foundations 
of civilized society. And they laid the foundation of 
society better thart they knew. 

Mam, of those noble v/ornen have passed over the 
river of Irfe, and gone to their reward in that mystic land 
where the good angels dwell. 

The pioneer women of Johnson county, as recorded 
by Mr. Ricord, are as follows : 

lov/a City Tov/nship, 

Hannah Cole, wife of Capt. J. Cole, settled in 1838. 

Mrs. M. J. Kirkpatrick, settled in 1837. 

Mrs. Dolly Swan, wife of Chauncey Swan, settled in 

Mary Ann Snyder, wife of V/illiam Snyder, settled in 

Salome Ten Eick, wife of Matthew Ten Eick, settled 
in 1839. 

Matilda V/atts, wife of Hiram Watts, settled in 1839. 
Vienna Paul, wife of George Paul, settled in 1838. 
Mary A. Dunkel, wie of Kasper Dunkel, settled in 

Pauline Sanders, vv^ife of Cyrus Sanders, settled in 

Mary Hawkins, wife of John Hawkins, settled in 1839. 
Susan Smith, daughter of Gov. Lucas, settled in 1838. 
Anna Horner, wife of Benjamin Horner, settled in 

Jessie Hartsock, wife of J. R. Hartsock, settled m 1839 
Helen Duffy, wife of Michael Duffy, settled in 1839. 
Elizabeth Dennis, wife of Isaac Dennis, . settled in 

Sarah Conklin, wife of D. V. Conklin, settled m 1839. 
Clarinda Berry, wife of Jesse Berry, settled in 1839. 
Martha Hawkins, wife of Jas. Hawkins, settled in 

Mrs. Patrick Smith, sister of Philip Clark, settled m 


Mrs. Andrews, wife of George T. Andrews, settled 

Mary Earhart, wife of Henry Earhart, settled in 1838. 
Elizabeth McCrory, wife of Samuel Crory, settled in 

Dorcas Hamilton, wife of Yale Hamilton, settled in 

Savannah Parrott, wife of John Parrott, settled in 

Mrs. Sanders, wife of I. N. Sanders settled in 1838. 
Mrs. Gardner, wife of John Gardner, settled in 1838. 
Mrs. Jones, wife of Charley Jones, settled in 1838. 
Mrs. Sally Ward, wife of Wm. Ward, settled in 1838. 
Mrs. Nancy Foster, vife of Silas Foster, settled in 

Mrs. Gardner, wife of Stephen B. Gardner, settled in 
in 1839. 

Mrs. Elizabeth Butler, wife of Walter Butler, settled 
in 1839. 

Mrs. Henyon, wife of Bradford Henyon, settled in 

1839. . ^ 

Mrs. Hill, wife of Green Hill, settled m 1837. 
Mrs. Anne Switzer, wife of David Switzer, settled in 

Mrs. McCart, wife of Jesse McCart, settled m 1838. 

Mrs. Fellows, wife of Nathaniel Fellows, settled in 


Pleasant Valley Township. 

Sarah J. Myers, wife of EH Myers, settled in 1838. 

Ellen Walker, wife of Robert Walker, settled in 1838 

Jane Walker, wife of Joseph Walker, settled in 1838. 

Mrs. Bessie Massey, daughter of Hon. Pleasant Har- 
ris, settled in 1837. 

Elizabeth Welch, wife of Ephriam Welch, Sr., settled 
in 1837. 

Mary Ritter, wife of Benj. Ritter, settled in 1838. 
Mrs. Ruth McGruder, wife of Jas. McGruder, settled 
in 1838. 

Mrs. Hester Stover, wife of Jos. Stover, settled m 

Mrs. Elizabeth Walker, widow, settled in 1838. 
Lucinda Hawkins, wife of George W. Hawkins, set- 
tled in 1837. 

Mrs. Kelso, wife of William Kelso, settled in 1838. 
Mrs. Lydia Sweet, wife of David Sweet, settled in- 

Mrs. Bowen, wile of Isaac Bowen, settled in 1839. 
Charlotte Sheperdson, wife of T. J. Sheperdson, set- 
tled in 1839. 

Elizabeth Marvin, wife of Wm. Marvin, settled in 1839 
Fanny Douglas, wife of Jas. Douglas, settled in 1839. 
Mary A. Hamilton, wife of J. C. Hamilton, settled in 

Mary Hamilton, wife of H. Hamilton, settled in 1838. 
Mary Scales, wife of Nathaniel Scales, settled in 1839 


Mrs. Trotter, wife of Samuel Trotter, settled in 1838. 
Mrs, Swafford, wife of Jeremiah Swafford, settled in 1838. 
Mrs. Dudley, wife of James Buchanan settled in 1838. 
Mrs Ruth Sutliff, wife of Samuel H. Sutliff, settled in 1831 


Nancy Smith, wife of Wm. Sm.ith, seited in 1839. 

Elizabeth Sehorn, wife of Jas, Sehorn, settled in 1839. 

Phoebe Williams, wife of Edward Williams, settled in 1839. 

Margaret Fry, wife of .John Fry, settled in 1839. 

Susan Fry, wife of Jacob Fry Sr., settled in 1839. 

Savina Roessler, wife of Gottleib Koessler, settled in 1839. 

Maria Hummer, wife of Wencil Hilmmer, settled in 1838. 

Mrs. Wm. Fry v/ife of Wm. Fry, daughter of Hon Pleasant Harri&% 

settled in 1838'. 

Big Grove. 

Fanny Pratt, wife of C. T. ipratt, settled in 1839. 


liHizabeth Lyon, wife of John Lyon, settled in 18^9. 

Paith Paine, wife of Evan Paine, settled in 1839. 

Ellen Paine, wife of James Paine, settled in 1839. 

Mary Morse, v/ife of E. K. Morse, settled in 1838. 

Julia Cannon, v/ife of D. Cannon, settled in 1838. 

Hannah DeVault, wife of Strawder De Vault, settled in 1838. 

Hannah DeVault, wife of Chas. DeVault, settled in 1838. 

Wm. Cochran 

M. Adams 

L. S. Swafford 

J. W. ScheU 

J. T. Robinson 

L. S. Pinney 

W. V. Orr 

A. N. Currier 

L. B. Patterson 

Chas. Baker 

W. J. Bowen 

F. X. Ritenmeyer 

D. S. Barber 

George T. Borland 

H. J. Wieneke \ 

G. W. Osborne 

W. Dodder i 

R. B. Osborne 

John Ranshaw 

H. H. Fairall 

TJ. T. Lodge 

J. A. Stevenson 

2. C. Luse 

H. W. Lathrop 

J. N. Seydel 

Abel Beach 

W. P. Hohenschuh 

Sam'l J. Hess 

N. H. Brainerd 

E. B. Howell 

G. W. Pinney 

G. R. Irish 

Levi Robinson 

J. B. Schofield 

A. W. Renter 

' B. Shimek 

T. B. Allin 

T. Fairchild 

James Magruder 

W. E. C. Foster 

A. J .Shepherd 

A. B. Cree 

W. H. Buchanan 

L Furbish 

W. D. Cannon 

J. G. Hill 

G. R. Hall 

M Cavanaugh 

A. S. McCune 

S. Sangster 

Isaac Bowen 

I. B. Lee 

Robert Shellady 

W. H. Goodrell 

Strawder DeVault 

George Schlenck 

Sion Hill 

J. R. Heath 

D. A. Dewey 

A. Pinney 


D. F. Rozenkranz- 
W. A. Boone 
M. Cochran 

F. X. Geiger 
B. Balluff 

A. E. Swisher 

G. W. Nelson 

J. B. Swawfford 
George Magruder 
J. H. Alt 
J. M. Seydel 
Jesse Strawhridge 
L. E. Curtis 
A. X Brown 
M. Smith 
J. M. Adams 

A. H. Brown 
N. Owens 

D, K. Shaver 
J. B. Brown 
John Fry 
S. V/eldy 
M. Kessler 
Henry Springmyer 
►Phil Shaver 
M. Adams 

B. F. Crowley 
David Hoover 
John Hartsock 
J. H. McClellan 
Bryan Dennis 
R. Lumbard 

D. Dixon 

J. H. Poland 

George Shellady 

C. Sweet 
Peter Greer 

Bruce Patterson 

C. Gaymon 

L. Hunter 

Philip Miller 

ir^hilo Colony 
J. Miller 
K. Hemphill 

J. M. Huffman 

J. W. Hart 

M. J. Kirkpatrick 

H. S. Fairall 

John G. Crow 

J. R. Hartsock 

Wm. F. Buck 

E. H. Pepler 

A. J. Hershire 

Z. Smith 

L. A. Allin 

J. J. Weber 

J. C. Jocelyn 

David Borts 

L. F. Lee 

A. W. Wesicott 
J. J. Roessler 
Wm. Emmons 
Chas. .Pratt 

S. Sharpless 
S. Yarbrough 

B. W. Lucas 

J. W. Morford 
G. W. Printz 
T. S. Parvin 
S. Shepardson 
B,. F. Bowman 
Adam Gill 
J. W. Leighty 
J. Luscombe 


A. W. Pratt 
jMilton Remley 
Jonathan Ham 
Jolm A. Beck 
Mrs. S. Myers 
A. L. Clark 
Mrs. S. H. Greeley 
\y. E. Cupp 
J. J. Marner 
George Preston 
Titus Fry 
E. Abrams 
E, Yarbrough 
V. Hartsock 
Alonzo Brown 
to. P. Fry 
W. H. CoUer 
Henry Bitck 
J. S. Wilson 
M. Miltner 
J. P. Orcutt 

D. Corlett 

Jos. Berchenbriter 
John E. Smith 
M. J. Robins 

E. Sanders 
C. G. Moore 
George Hummer 
John Green 

F. H. Rittenmeyer 

G. Lancaster 

Mrs. Mien Langenberg 
Dr. M, B. Cochrane 
B. Owen 
L. Parsons 
W. Hanke 
Leroy Rundell 

J. H. Thompson 

Benj. Ritter 

Mrs. Rebecca Ruppin 

Henry Walker 

C. S. Roessler 

G. P. Roessler 

C. M. Calkin 

T. Graham 

J. E. Adams 

J. G. Brown 

E. A. Lee 
W. B. Pratt 

Mrs. L. F. Fracker 
»P. Rohret 
Wm. J^elson 
R. Johnson 

G. W. Koontz 
Edwin Breese 
L. E. Crane 
John McLaughlan 
P. J. Regan 
Jacob Kramer 
Wm. P. Coast 

A. W. Leonard 

F. M. McReynolds 
Joseph Stouffer 
Jas. McKray 

H. Hamilton 
Jas. Mahana 
J. Y. Yoder 
J. T. Struble 
F. Lee 

M. Smith 

I. V. Dennis 
Mrs. Anna Hope 
George Hitchcock 


W. Hummer 

C. Hubner 

Mrs. E. B. Wilson 

F. Dooley 

W. A. Kettlewell 

M. Burge 
Walter Stebbins 

L. Swisher 

J. Paine 

H. Kerr 

E P. Whitacre 

Seventy-nine new members were added. 

Twenty-Eighth Annual Reunion, Aug. 17, 1894. 

The 28th annual reunion of the Old Settlers Associa- 
tion was held at the Fairgrounds on August 17th, 1894. 

Assembling at the grounds in the morning, the pion- 
eers spent the forenoon in social converse. Reminis- 
censes and hand clasps, story telling, history repeating, 
and renewal of ''ould acquaintances" was the order of af- 
fairs. Then, too, the festivities embraced a visit to the 
twin log cabins — the crude and •'dude" structures — vvith 
their coon skins, spinning wheels, old-time lanterns, tongs, 
etc. All these things wxre replete with pleasure to the 
sturdy men and self-sacrificing v/omen who redeemed 
Iowa from the v/ilderness of savagery over a generation 

At noon all partook of a generous dinner, which was 
rendered more palatable by the amber coffee supplied 
under the direction of Frank Luse. 

At the; annual election, held at 1 130 p. m., the follow- 
ing well known pioneers were chosen for the ensuing yean 

President, Hon. Levi Robinson. 

First Vice President — Capt. Phil. Shaver. 

Second Vice President — Elias Howell. 

Secretary — George T. Borland . 

Treasurer — Lovell Swisher. 

Executvic Committee — To be appointed by the pres- 

After the election, the crowd assembled around an im- 
provised platform and listened to a very interesting pro- 
gram. Rev. Dr. Fairall offered a fervent prayer in open- 



Judge S. H. Fairall (for years the occupant of the dis- 
trict court bench, and a familiar figure in local and state 
courts, both at present and in days agone) delivered the 
address of the day. His theme, upon which he is pecul- 
iarly fitted to expiate, was, "Early Court in Johnson Coun- 
ty." and in discoursing thereon, he spoke substantially as 
follows : 

"I esteem it a real pleasure to once a year lay aside 
life's cumbering cares to go to an old settlers' meeting. 
Here we meet the few surviving men and Vv^omen, who 
braved the hardships and privations of pioneer life, more 
than half a century ago; here we renew the friendships 
of early days, and here vv^e look with pride and admiration 
upon the stalwart men and noble women who are the 
bread winners of our country. 

I love to linger around these log cabins, for they re- 
mind me of the many homes which I have visited in my 
early days and of the warm friends, most of whom, sleep 
in silent cities. 

But of the courts, I am to briefly speak — and will 
try my pleasant task. 

Blackstone defines a court to be " a place where jus- 
tice is judicially administered." 

A sarcastic comic writer declares it to be "a place 
where injustice is judicially administered." 

This should not be so, for our district and other in- 
ferior courts are essentially institutions of the people. 
They elect judges and other officers therein, and a great 
number of the cases are tried by a jury of the people upon 
the testimony given by the people. Before courts were 
established, in many of the new territories, the pioneers 
established courts of their own for the protection of their 
lives and property. These tribunals were usually gov- 
erned by the rules of natural justice. They arbitrated 
diiTerences between neig'hbors and thev were occasionany 
called upon to dispense rough and sv/ift justice to the 
criminals who infested the frontiers. 

Courts were early estabHshed in what is is now 

— 120 — 

the State of Iowa. It is true that the first judicial dis- 
trict was large, consisting of two counties, Des Moines 
and Dubuque, the dividing line running east and west 
from a point beginning on the island known as Rock Island 
and thence to the great American desert. When this 
county was formed by the Wisconsin legislature it was 
attached, for judicial purposes, to Cedar county, the coun- 
ty seat being at Rochester. The first term of court 
held in this county, in 1839, was at the Gilbert Trading 
House, Judge Joe Williams presiding and Co S. C 
Trowbridge, sheriff. 

A few years afterwards, a brick building, just south 
east of our present court house, was erected, and until 
1857 was used as a temple of justice. 

On January ist, 1859, the present court house was 
first occupied. The judges who have presided in this 
county are as follows. 

Territorial Judge — Joseph Williams. 

District Court Judges — Hon. James P. Carleton, 1847 

Hon. William Smyth, 1853-1857. 

Hon. Isaac Cook, 1857-1859. 

Hon. William E. Miller, 1859-1862, 

Hon. N. W. Isbell, 1862-1864. 1 

Hon. C. H. Conklin, 1864-1866. 

Hon. N. M. Hubbard, 1866-1867. . ; 

Hon. J. H. Rothrock, 1867-1876. 

Hon. John Shane, 1876-1882. 

Hon. James Giffin, 1882-1893. 

Hon. M. J. Wade, appointed in 1893. 

Circuit Court Judges — Hon. Wm. E. Miller, Hon. 
Wm. J. Haddock, Hon. G. R. Struble, Hon. John Mc- 
Kean and Hon. C. Hedges. 

Of the earlier judges I will only have time to speak 
briefly; those of later years most of you personally know. 
I personally knew all of them except one, Carleton, and 
practiced before all except Williams and Carleton. 

Judge Williams was affable and approachable and 
near to the people — a man of refined tastes and polished 

— 121 — 

aiianners, but he easily adapted himself to the ways of 
the people, and furnished violin music for their dances anri 
ventriloquism for their entertainments. He v^as a devout 
Christian, v^ithal. He was judge of the supreme court 
from 1847 to the end of 1854. 

Judge James P. Carleton was in m^any respects the 
opposite of his predecessor. He was kind of heart but 
dignified in manner. His sterling integrity commanded 
the respect and confidence of the people, but he was not 
the idol of the masses. He was well grounded in the 
principles of the common law and familiar v/ith the rc- 
finem.ents and intricacies of its practice. While technical 
almost to a fault, he abhorred the chicanery of the tut- 
scrupulous lawyer and detested the tricks of the con- 
tem.ptible pettifogger. 

Judge Smyth, who had read law in the office of Judge 
Carlton with Hon. L. B. Patterson and A. Patterson, v/as 
a good common law attorney, but inclined to be technical 
Though a young man when he went to the bench, his 
superior knowledge of legal principles, his firmness and 
kindness made him popular with the people and with the 
profession. He was one of the compilers of the revision 
of i860; a colonel of one of the infantry regiments of 
Iowa, and served one term in congress. 

Judge Cook, though modest, unassuming and good 
natured, had a strong, well trained and evenly balanced 
mind, which enabled him amid stormy scenes in court to 
quiet the discordant elements. He was a good, careful, 
painstaking judge, carrying vv^ith him on his retirement to 
private life, the best wishes of all who had business i n his 

Judge Miller — eminently fitted for the judgeship — w^as 
called from the bench to a colonelcy in the 28th Iowa In- 
fantry. He is the author of a work on "Pleading and 
Practice.'^ In 1868 he was chosen the first judge of the 
circuit court of this district, which position he filled with 
marked ability until he was elected as a supreme judge in 
1871. His decisions evince great industry, thorough re- 

— 122— 

search, a careful examination and masterly comparison of 
conflicting authorities, and above all, a correctness of con- 
clusions which won for him a reputation of being a safe 

Of the early bar I wish I had more time to speak — of 
Gilbert and Regan, Downey and Reno, Folsom & Patter- 
son, W. Penn Clark & Templin. All of them have crossed 
tiie river except our honored townsman, Hon. L. B. Pat- 
terson, who is present with us, and the prayers of many 
Cire: that his days may yet be long in the community where 
for so many years he has been and is now honored and 

Then came a second generation of lawyers, Robin- 
son, Miller & Woodin, George and Rush Clark, Edmonds 
& Ransom, Fairall & Boal, McKay & Haddock. Many 
of these are dead. Many have moved away, only three of 
the number, Robinson, Haddock and Fairall living in the 

A third generation of attorneys have filled the thin- 
ned ranks and they have ably perpetuated the fame and 
reputation of a bar which from its earliest days ranked 
second to none in the state.'' 

Judge Fairall closed with other complimentary re- 
marks relative to the bench and bar and officers of John- 
son county. When the appause that greeted Judge Fair- 
all had at length subsided, Presiding Officer Matt Cav- 
anagh introduced Austin Cole, a pioneer of 1839. 

Mr. Cole was requested to speak about the early 
manufacturing interests of Iowa City. For years, said 
Vlv. Cole, Johnson county manufactured without steam or 
water. Benjamin King turned out first class wagons and 
Henry Usher plovvs, which latter served every purpose, 
until the Moline plows pushed them out of use. The 
summer of '41-^42 much building of cheap houses was 
done and shingles were greatly in demand — drawing- 
knives being used. y\ man named Reed came down from 
Michigan or Wisconsin, and started a shingle manufaci- 
cry but the Iowa river rose of a sudden and washed ii 

awa}^ after the shingles it had produced had been con- 

Richard Chaney, of Keokuk, came here and started a 
grist mill, but even Mr. Cole's iron constitution of fifty 
years ago couldn't stand the stomaching of sand and 
gravel such as that turned out. 

Mr. Cole^s talk was very interesting and W2is heart- 
ily received, tlie vein of humor running through it being 
especially appreciated. Follovv^ing Mr. Cole came a poem 
by Abel Beach, Iowa City's venerable "knight of the gold- 
en pen^' well sustained his enviable reputation as a poet. 
His scholarly production is given in full below. 


As we view the depths of Ocean, casting waves upon the shore. 
Bearing shells with jeweled fleeces like the Argonauts of yore. 
First we look around and wonder if along these sands of time 
Footprints still are found, or echoes, of some lingering golden 

Yea, to left and right, I recognize before me pioneers. 

Worthy patriarchs— aye prophets, of the long remembered 
years, — 

When the chosen land they honored well rejoiced to see their 

By their efforts and glowing in the sunset parting ray. 

Changed somewhat in form and features, halting step or failing 

But distinguished for acliievements won — all brighter brought 
to light, 

Representing generations past whose shadows kiss the sky, 
Welcome once again remember in your footsteps we are nigii* 

1.0 beyond yon hazy background, and dissimulating ridge, 

With conver^ng lines I view a narrow open bridge; 
Hosts unnumbered, scurry onward, passing thru the grasping 

One by one with hurry hasting to resolve a final fate. 

Serried ranks are widely scattered in grim cemeteries round, 
Foremost Pioneers and Soldiers, side by side, at length have 

Final rest from toil and struggles in our mother earth of peace. 
Where, in sacred soil of heroes, all their worldly labors cease. 


Mythologic story tells us that from Dragon's teeth there sprung^ 
Valiant men v/hose glory growing ever afterwards was sung; 

So we trustful — panoplied; the sons of heroes will arise, 
Elevating" men to spheres appropriate for earth or skies. 

In the flowery field of romance, dreams are realized song, 
Made elys'an as some fairy nymphs the silken cords prolong; 

Half of life is seldom real; wild the wing of fancy sweeps; 
Like a magic spell appropriate to use, hut seldom keeps. 

Who can say imagination, v/hen allov/ed to wander free 

Shall not find enchanted islands, bright as ever bathed by sea;- 

Fairy scenes with elfin actors, luming night as bright as day. 
Sounding round the welkin echoes, borne on wings of wind 

Come with me the while v/e're waiting; climb the summit of 
this hill; 

Panoramic viev. s rev/ard enraptured visions at their v/ill: 
Dimly gleams the vista of the past now vanishing away; 
Erimmiiig beams the bliss that ushers in a new and brighter 

While some painted recollections mark the ever hallowed past, 
Greater acciuisitions in majestic garb are seen at last; 

Lightning, steam and latent powers, at length developed — 
long concealed — 
Day by day made patent plain, disclose their mystery revealed. 

What has i)een, and more, the gleaming future claims again 
can be; 

Ceasel'^SG progress on progression marks our Nineteenth Cen- 
tury : 

And v/hcn all the ages summoned give concluding resume; 
Hare historic pages hardly paralelled will mark our day: 

OpOi nov/ the swinging portals of new Century, now in view; 

Recognize the vas!" advancement — old retiring from the new: 
rn!!er homes and bigger harvests, safer railroads, brighter 

Greater comforts, wealth, prosperity^ that everywhere invites, 

Nateuv"-. f'or.erous, when favored, holds abundance in reserve, 
Somo'/mes free to scatter seed, and sometimes careful to 

Mv'iking marked improvements, scientific progress, constant 

Favoring new movements, having worthy objects to attain. 


May we not believe, too, when the scales are taken from our 

Men, redeemed from sordid senses, can behold their brothers 

Made fraternal, sound the praises of an age that's disenthralled; 
Make good will abound on earth as well as found in heaven 

Now^ Old Settlers, when Time's summons comes — as soon it 
must to all, 

Let us prove as brave as any e'er responding to his call. 
Not ashamed to stamp our impress on an age we helped to 

Proud of chance to vamp the fashion where high destiny is 

Listen! Hear the echoes soundiug from the valleys, plains and 
peaks ! 

Fainter, dying in the distance, one and then another speaks: 
Forty-five years or over, tell of generations past, 
And the strongest hears announcement — soon you too, will 
be "the last!'' 

The next number on the program was a poem by J. B. 
Schofield of Oasis. For forty years Mr. Schofield has 
chvelt in this county, and his muse never showed to bet- 
ter advantage that in his happy and musical effort of to- 
day. The poem in full is as follows: 


When we are among our friends 

Strict etiquette is little heeded; 
So I'll not make an apology 

As I think that none is needed. 
And I'm not going to make one. 

At least not for this time; 
Because I know that you'll expect 

Naught but a simple rhyme. 

Old settlers, happy greetings to you all — 

Fat or fair and forty, short or tall. 
Fair of face or dark, Sylph-like or buxom, 

Stately dames, or old and quaint caring naught for costume. 
Of different nationalities, yet with me you'll all agree 

That we love these institutions of the freeland of the free 
Where the girls and boys are growing up and have a thirst for 


Their fathers need not be lords to send them through a college 
But the boys can take a buck and saw, like some I have known, 
Who sawed their way through school and are holding weil 
their own. 

Now they're filling good positions, where honesty and truth 
Are bound to be in great demand; and any of our youth, 
Who have that "tired feeling'' and think they've such hard 

Will just do w^ell to ponder o'er some thoughts found in these 

If they sit down and whimper "cause father hasn't the 'rocks' 
Or doesn't own a railroad, or land and bonds and stocks, 

In some great sugar trust, or desn't own a town 

Like Pullman of Chicago, of the last great strike renown, 

They'll feel a great deal bettered if they'll strip off their coats 
And work at some good honest trade, or go to feeding shoats. 

For some good, honest farmer, until they've earned enough 
To pay for their education, proving diamonds in the rough 

Who will, by and by, get polished, in this rough world of ours 
By the rubs and snubs from others, self styled the higher 

Or some, like Debs, who sigh presidential chair to fill. 
But if he were elected, I doubt if he'd fill the bill. 

And if he did, he'd like as not get mad about the rates 
And like as not we'd order out, the whole United States 

In one great strike, and if they struck, what a rumpus there 
would be, 

I think that for myself I'd want to be beyond the sea. 

In good old Merrie Ehgland, the place where I was born^ 

Even if I lived on mush made from American corn. 
Perhaps 'twould interest you, to learn why I am here 

And why I'm called an old settler, to me it does seem queer. 
But when I come to compare the dates, it certainly appears 

That I am now in this western land, some forty two odd years. 
Way back among the forties, this state was not then old. 

You'll some of you remember, that they discovered gold 
Away in California, and people by the score, 

Were rushing o'er the American plains to reach that golden 

The fever spread, ran pretty higli and speculators smiled; 

The epidemic crossed the sea and set our people wild, 
And nothing else was talked about, but the finding of this gold, 

'T would read like some great wild romance, the stories that 
were told. 

— 127- 

; Geese, ducks and chickens^ all laid golden nuggets, don't you 

And the rivers, they were full of fish, as nice as fish could be. 
And he who had the grit to make the trip, and expense could 

Would soon grow immensely rich, come back and be a lord. 

But many found it out, to them 'twas but a fake, 

They longed for "home, sweet home" again, to much a stafC 
fed steak. 

For the snakes and pesky Indians, so bothered them, you know, 
That many of them left their bones to bleach beneath the 

Others, myself included, found Oasis near. 

Concluded we were west enough and so we settled here; 
And I think its more than likely, that here we're going to stay. 

Until we take a notion to pick up and move away. 
There's many faces that we miss, that were here a year ago; 

Death must have whet his sickle and wielded it, I trow, 
; In our beautiful silent city, fresh mounds are rising fast; 

May we also be ready, when our summons comes at last. 
From him who gave to us this land — a land we dearly love; 

May we leave it to meet with loved ones in that better laud 

There we shall clasp each other's hand, while our victory's 
wreaths entwine 
Our brows, and we shall quaff afresh heaven»s sacramental 

The last speaker on the program was Hon. H. W. 
Lathrop, who declared that he was about to deliver 
"t'other fellow's" speech. Said Mr. Lathrop : **It is a tra- 
dition that fifty-two years ago a steamboat came here 
from St. Louis, with a load of freight and passengers. 
The citizens here were rendered wide awake and the town 
was agog with excitement over the fact that the Iowa 
river was navigable, and prophesied that we were about to 
become the head of navigation. 

"The captain and the passengers were banqueted, 
and at the dinner the captain made a speech, declaring in 
a style grandiloquent and humorous — unconsious or other- 
wise — that he had proven the Iowa river navigable. 
That speech was "t'other fellow's," which Mr. Lathro]) 
proceeded to read. 

— 128— 

The program— all in all a delightful one—concluded 
with, an original song by Mr. Grisv/old, who fairly carried 
his auditors away by his humor. 


Our houses they were made of logs, 
Rolled up in squares and filled with mortar; 

If the roof were rough we made it tight. 
And piped out all the water. 

We built a chimney on one end. 

Made it up of sticks and of mortar; 
And up that chimney curled the smoke. 

For generations after. 

We had some cider that was good, 

And lots of whiskey toddy; 
We drank success to every log, 

And health to everybody. 

Our wives and daughters did their part_ 

Most gracefully and proper: 
They made butter, bread and cheese, 

And doughnuts for our supper. 

Our daughters learned to spin and weave, 

And made themselves quite useful. 
But now they paw the ivory keys, 

At night they ride the bicycle. 

The boys they helped to run the farm. 
And did not mind the dust and sweat; 

But now they loaf around the town. 
And smoke the cigarette. 

We used to have our husking bees, 

Also our log rolling; 
And sometimes we would dance all night. 

And go home with girls in the morning. 

We hauled our wheat to Muscatine, 

And sold it for a quarter; 
And if we had to stay all night. 

We were sure to come out shorter. 

Mr. Powell bought our pork. 

And shipped it down the river; 
And if his flat boat got aground, 

We had a heap of trouble. 


And now kind friends, we'll say good bye. 
We have fared like pigs in clover; 

And in eighteen hundred and ninety five. 
We will act this same thing over. 

September, 20th, 1895. 
The pioneers of Johson county assembled at the an- 
nual picnic of the Old Settlers Association, elected the 
following officers for the ensuing year, before adjournment 
was taken last evening. 

President — J. T. Robinson. 

Vice Presidents — J. E. Jayne; M. Howell, Windham. 
Secretary — George T. Borland. 
Treasurer — Lovell Swisher. 

The Necrologist's Table. 
A sad but necessary duty devolved upon 'Squire G 
R. Irish, who, as necrologist, read the following record of 
those pioneers who have been called home during the 
past three years : 

Old Settlers Who Died in 1893. 

Mrs. Bmiline Avery, 85 
Mrs. Alice C. Gilbert, 50 
Max Otto, 51 
E. O. Swain 62 
Samuel A. N^ely, 81 
Richard Leo Ganter 
Mrs. Fred Rothweiller, 41 
Bernard Mullin, 68 
August Albiight, 83 
Mrs. Sylvester Coe, 60 
Mrs. H. Hughes, 80 
Lester G. Taylor, 76 
Mattie H. Kimball, 30 
Edward Bowers, 76 
Frank Prohaska, 83 
T:homas K. Morrison 
Mrs. Martha J. Douglas, «9 
Ebenezer Sangster, 76 
Benjamin King, 74 
Mrs. Fannie Warren, 88 

Mrs. M. J. Lentz 65 
Nathaniel Scales, 81 
Mrs. D. S. Barber, 52 
Mathew TenEyck, 88 
Samuel C. Cole 72 
Mary Dewey, 77 
Mrs. John Ranshaw 
Mrs. Jane Sanders, 61 
Richard Sanders, 73 
Joseph Walker, 74 
Mrs. J. Norwood Clark, 79 
Mrs. Martha Hanby, 69 
Mrs. Nancy McElwain, 75 
Mrs. J. C. Remley, 77 
Isaac Bowen, 81 
Joel Bartlett 
I. N. Senders, 87 
Henry Devoe, 103 
James McGruder, 77 
Elizabeth Cohick, 70 

Elvira O. Crum, 67 
N. C. Stickler, 78 
Mrs. Sylvia M. Pepper 
A. J. Rider, 72 
Mark Clear 
John Walding 
Andrew Shields, 75 
Jacob Snyder^ 76 
Mrs. Hugh McGovem, 58 
John C. Smith, 61 
Mrs. O. B. Fox, 81 
G, S. Rossler, 74 

John C. Haas, 80- 
Azariah Pinney, S9 
Mrs. Harvey Sutliff, 6^ 
Thomas Butler, 70 
Mary C. Chandler, 63^ 
Thomas Brasy, 82 
George Pietor, 80 
Moses Bloom, 61 
feusan Lucas Smith, 7(? 
ttt: J. P. Huser, 56 
Theodore Doty, 87 

Old Settlers 

bamuel J. Kirkwood, al 

V7. F. Hmdmail, 46 

Mrs. Coe I. Crawford 

Mrs. Fannie L. Fracker 83t 

James Donahoe 

Jacob Durst 

Jeremiah Stover, 75 

?.Irs. John Archer, 50 

Tslrs, Margaret Mentzer, IS 

Mrs. Elizabeth Yokarn, 77 

Hugh McGovern, 7l 

Joseph Brown, 88 

Pvirs. Rosa L. Cerny, 85 

Mrs. Samuel Stimmel, 81 

llrs, George Hevern, 72 

James R. Hartsock, 77 

ToL^ert Hartsock, 76 

John Coldren, 55 

Thomas E. Dugari 

John Jacobs, 75 

James Donahoe 

Sarah Hazard Schell 78 

Emma Middleton iParvin 37 

Drayton Gunsolus, 55 

Died in 1894. 

Helen Cox Fairchild 

Mrs. Wm. Meardon 

Dr. George E. Kim.ball, 6^ 

Mathev/ Harrison, 61 

Mrs. Frank Tanner 42 

John Wydenkoff, 70 

John Buettner, 74 

Thomas Hunt, 82 

Mrs. Anna Yoder, 72 

James M. Smith, 64 

Anthony Sulek 

Thomas Macha 

C. H. Robinson, 80 

Mrs. Julia Wicks, 68 

Dr. Wm. G. Hammond 

Robert Roup, 6d e 

James Galvin, 

Thomas Brady, 83 

Patrick Greer, 71 

John Danzel, 75 

Mrs. M. B. Bryan, 73 

Henry Bick, 65 

Mrs. Jane Downey, 71 


Old Settlers Who Died in 1895. 

John M. Haas, 91 

Mrs^ James McCollister, 51 

Lyman Parsons, 66 

Joseph Payn, 79 

Peter Dalton 76 

Thomas Hunt, 82 

Cynthia Lelkhty, Kl 

John Greene, 81 

<jeorge J. Boal, 60 

Mrs. Michael Freeman, 76 

Miss Elva Couter, 41 

Mrs. Letovsky 

Charlotte Strahle, 77 

David A. Wilant 

Mrs. Anna H. Hope, 63 

Mrs. L. A. Allen, 5a 

John Bums, 85 

Mrs. Thomas J. Cox, 65 

Mrs. Walter Stehbins, 69 

Mrs. N. Dalschied, 68 

Mrs. Rebecca Rupin, 70 

Joseph Schuttler, 50 

Bartholomew Condon, TO 

Mrs. Elizabeth Williams, 77 

Richard Rasee, 80 

Mrs. Anna Smith, 60 

IVilliam Schnare, 82 

Mrs. John Warner 

L. V. Dennis, 74 

Mrs. Samuel Merrifield, 36 

Bichard H. Sylvester, 65 

Wm. A, Fisher 

Henderson Bronson, 75 

John Honza 

Prank Dooley 75 

Mrs. Mary Mahan, 56 

Mrs. Sophronia Stable 

Philip Hofelder, 63 

Henry A. Uslier, 82 

Dr. Otto Heinsius, 77 

Mrs. Mary Black, 89 

Mrs. Charles Blackmore, 43 

Michael Zeller, 70 

Mrs. Caroline V. Clark, 72 

David B- Hughes^ 79 

Martin Freeman 

Tlie old settlers were regaled with several very inter- 
esting addresses. An eloquent speech by M. Cavanaugh 
opened the oratorical program. 

Mr. Cavanaugh declared that the real pioneers of this 
county were not those who came here in childhood v^ith 
their parents. They are but sons and daughters of pion- 
eers, even as there are sons and daughters of veterans who 
celebrate the deeds and sacrifices of their parents. 

Widely distributed over the older states little more 
than a half century ago were men and women in the hey- 
day of young manhood and young womanhood, with 
buoyant spirits and high aspirations, whose thoughts were 
turned to the then far west beyond the Mississippi. 


Inv- there were on railroads, no telegrapli 
lines, no means of qdiek corhmunication with, or rapid 
transit between communities only short distances apart. 
Under such circumstances, a few hundred miles was a long 
journey taking weeks to accomplish. 

Young men newly married or who had be'en married 
but a few years, and had young families growing up around 
them bade tearful adieus to the parental homes, whei^c 
they had been so watchfully and lovingly reared through 
the years of their tender childhood, and dependent adoles- 
cence, to follow the fortunes of their young husbands in 
the far-away land if promise, which was to them almost 
a terra incognita. 

At that tim.e the wafers of the mig'hty Mississippi and 
Missouri rivers, which laved the eastern and western 
boundaries of beautiful Iowa, were undisturbed and un- 
ruffled by the busy keels of commerce, the echoes of her 
forests had not been awakened by the stroke of the wood- 
man's ax; her beautiful interior streams had not then beeti 
C'ouded by the rich soils washed from her cultivated fields, 
the luxuriant grasses of her magnificent prairies were then 
rncropped, save by the red deer, the bison, the caribou, 
and the flower bedecked expanses of her hills and valleys 
were then unpressed by any human foot, save that of the 
moccasined red man. 

Here there was a scene of pristine loveliness and 
beatlt3^ unsurpassed by any the sun had ever shone upon, 
or upon which the moon had overshed her mellow, sul)- 
flued light to illuminate and glorify. 

The forces of nature had here, or countless ages, been 
steadily, patiently and unceasingly at work in preparation 
for the advent of civilized man and seems to have exerted 
h?r powers to the utmost to make for hi'm a honie best 
adapted to promote the growth and development of the 
institutions that pertain to a high civilization. No glii^ 
tcr of poVl or flashing diamonds had she wrought in her 
]>oratories with her marvelous alchemy to hide in the 
soils of this fair land to teimpt hither the sordid and avar- 


icious, but instead had prepared a soil of wonderful fertil- 
ity and adaption to the purposes of an enlightened agricul - 
ture and fitted it especially for the homes of its votaries. 

And some came in the fourth decade of this century 
the advance guard pf that devoted, hardy, earnest pioneer 
army intent on the high purpose of here establishing 
homes for themselves and their children and for the found- 
ing and nurture for succeeding generations of all the in- 
stitutions which pertain to an advanced civilization and 
which constitute the greatness and glory of a state. 

These in the ensuing few years were speedily follow- 
ed by the main army, with the same high hopes and pur- 
poses, and animated by the same aspirations — not to say 
inspirations — which thrilled the hearts and brains of the 
perhaps more daring and adventurous advance guard. 

How faithfully these pioneers wrought and how well 
they laid the foundations of these social institutions let 
the glorious Iowa of today answer with her 2,000,000 o*f 
enlightened people distributed in happy homes over her 
entire broad expanse; with her half million children and 
youth in her schools and colleges, in training to take 
their places as heralds and videttes in the march of pro- 
gress, and not only to maintain but to advance the exalted 
rid proud position of Iowa in the glorious sisterhood ot 
states in this peerless American Union ! 

All hail, then, to the pioneers! Let us cherish the 
memory of those who have gone, and emulate the virtues 
of both the living and the dead, and strive to hand down 
to those who come after us undimimished and unimpaired i 
the priceless inheritance of education, social order, liberty 
and law, which they have left us, and for which they so 
faithfully wrought, so disinter<estedly spent their strength 
and their lives, for which they shed their tears and breath- 
ed their prayers. 

If the time I am expected to occupy would permit T 
might enter into a narration of the part that different indi- 
viduals took in events that transpired in those early times. 
But I cannot enter into this. It would be invi dious to 


mention a few and say nothing of those of equal merit. 
But perhaps I may be pardoned for mentioning my own 
father and mother. I do this not because they were of 
any particular prominence in those pioneer days, but be- 
cause I knew more of them and think they were fairly 
representative types of the pioneer men and women. My 
father struggled as they all struggled to support his fam- 
ily and pay for his land, and was reasonably successful. 
He was always on the side of law and order, and favored 
every measure which he thought was for the pubHc good. 

But I think that the greater burden fell to the lot of 
the women of that day as I think they do to the women 
of today. My father and mother came here in 1839 and 
brought with them five children. Three more were born 
to them after they came, making a family of eight boys. 
In those days when it was almost impossible to get fe- 
male help you can readily understand what the work of 
my mother must have been. She was to this family of 
eight boys, housekeeper, cook, washerwoman, spinner, 
knitter, tailor, nurse, doctor, teacher, and acquitted her- 
self in all these capacities with greatest credit. Her round 
of work was interminable. I did not think about it much 
in those days but when I think of it now I am appalled at 
the recollection of what she has gone through. Her en- 
durance and self abnegation were marvelous and could 
only have been sustained by a love and devotion that knew 
no diminution. She is still living but the infirmities and 
weight of her almost ninety years precludes her being 
here today in person but she is here in spirit and she will 
want to know all about who of her old neighbors were 

I hope it will not be considered indelicate in me thus 
to speak of my father and mother. They are but types 
of pioneer character. 

There is sadness in the reflection that these pioneer 
people are rapidly passing away: that only a few are 
left. Many of them passed away years ago. It seems 
sad that they could not have remained to see this day of 


lowa's greatness — this day of railroads and telegraphs, 
of telephones and phonographs. 

But while this is sad, there is consolation in another 
thought. We may not believe in the traditional lake of 
fire and brimstone, into which are consigned forever the 
souls of the unreg.enerate, nor yet it may be in the apoc- 
ryphal New Jerusalem, whose gold paved streets shall 
alone be trodden by the feet of the Calvinistic elect; but 
I think that we all believe that it is well with these de- 
parted pioneers — these men and women who wrought so 
much, who suffered so much, who loved so much and 
hoped so much. What their employment may be or in 
what their happiness consists, we can only conjecture. 

We cannot doubt their existence beyond the grave. 
We can not believe that all this grand creation to which 
our little earth is but a most insignificant vestibule or ante 
chamber spread out before our physical vision, and tha^ 
we were given the powers to comprehend something of 
its v/onders and endowed with aspirations to see and com- 
prehend more that all should end in oblivion. A bene- 
ficient Creator has not thus mocked these powers, these 
hopes, these longings, these aspirations with which He 
has endowed us. 

Oh no ! We firmly believe that these departed pion- 
eers are today somewhere in the measureless beyond, freed 
from fettering habiliments of clay, on the wings of the 
spirit, perhaps mounting beyond the sun, passing from 
system to system — pioneering it may be — and with en- 
raptured, beatific vision drinking in some of the glories 
of the illimitable universe of God. 


Thirtieth Annual Reunion, September 22, 1896. 

The Old Settlers of Johnson countyi met in their an- 
nual reunion at the fair grounds September 22, 1896, and 
spent the entire day in a pleasant manner. Long before 
noon a large aurnber of the old pioneers had assembled 
on the ground, and when the noon hour arrived spread 
their dinner in good old fashioned style, and feasted upon 
all the good things always to be found at these meetings. 

The day, was fair and pleasant, and in the afternoon 
at least fifteen hundred persons were in attendance, among 
whom could be seen the very oldest settlers in the county 
— pioneers who came here when the wild game abounded 
and when the entire county was an unbroken tract of 
land. Years have come and gone; great changes have 
been made socially and politically; yet we find the same 
hardy pioneers the leading spirits of all enterprise and 
growth, and the very foundation of all prosperity. 

Rapidly the hours passed in social communion, re- 
calling old times and telling of days when the pioneer 
was an individuality, and struggled along to pave the 
v/ay for civiHzation. 

At one o'clock, a pleasant program was carried out. 
Rev. Dow invoked the blessing of God in a short prayer, 
and was followed by Mr. G. R. Irish, who read letters 
of regret from many old Johnson county settlers, who 
could not attend the reunion. They told of happy days 
passed in this county, and recalled many events of long 
ago; some of pleasure and some of sorrow. Mr. Swaf- 
ford also received many letters from afar, which were 
read. Among the letters were those from ex-Senator 
James Harlan, Mt. Pleasant; Mrs. Ruth Irish Preston, 
Davenport; Mrs, Geo. Paul, Highlands, Colo; Jule Smith, 
Beatrice, Nebr. ; R. A. Carlton, Illinois; Mrs. J. W 
Wright, Aledo, 111.; Rev. Dexter P. Smith, D. D., Santa 
Ana, California; George Wwmer, Manson, Iowa; Rev. 

Father Emmons, Tacoma, Wash.; Waldo Hanby, Bish- 
op, Cal.; H. D. Rowe, San Francisco; E» W. Swafford, 
Oregon City, Ore,; J, D, Bowersox, Lawrence, Kans.; 
Pleasant O'Brien, Castle Rock, Colo.; James R, Elliott. 
Ogden, Utah; A. C. Younkin, San Diego, Cal.; Prof. S. 
N. Fellows, Fayette, and A. O. Price, Grinnell. 

Mr, Abel Beach read a poem appropriate to the oc- 
casion, and Austin Cole spoke of the pioneer days, and 
told with much feeling the hardships endured by those 
sturdy men, yet which were filled with the greatest pleas- 

It would be impossible to give the names of all the 
old settlers assembled on the ground yesterday, but 
among them we note : 

Moses Adams, of Cedar township, who came here in 
'39. Mr. Adams is 80 years of age, and cast his first vote 
for William Henry Harrison two days after he was 2t 
years of age. 

D. V. Conklin, of East Lucas township, came h^re 
in *38, and is 71 years of age. 

Geo. Heveren, of this city, came from Pennsylvania 
in '46, and has resided here since, that date. He is 80 
years of age. 

H. Hamilton came here in ^38, when the city con- 
tained only one log cabin, and the entire city was owned 
by a man named Steen, who held it as a claim. Mr. Ham- 
ilton is sixty-eight years of age. : 

S. J. Hess came here in 1848, and is 72 years old. 

J. K. Strawbridge has lived in East Lucas township 
since *42, and is 77 years old. 

Squire Dodder, 82 years of age, who has been a 
justice of the peace for more than 33 years. Everybody 
knows the 'Squire. 

Ebin Adams is 85 years of age> and has lived in 
Cedar township about sixty years. He was the oldest 
pioneer on the ground. 

J. Norwood; Clark^ of this city, is 82 years bf age, 
^nd came here is 1842; 

W. J. Bowen^ our efficient city, clerk, was born in 
tMs county 53 years ago^ and bas always resided here. 

W, D. Cannon has beeii in this county 56 years. 

F. A, Parrott ^a& been here 55 year^. 

O. A; Pattersoft, a pior^eer who formerly lived here^ 
was preseiftc " * 

Mf^, Agnes Sanders is 73 years old,, and came here 
jfrom Illinois in '39. She resides in Iowa City township. 

Colonel Robert Lucas came to this county in 1839, 
and resided where the Jake Switzer property is located 
now. Mr. Lucas was one of the brave hoy^ that Johnson 
county furnished to put down the late rebellion, and en- 
listed in the 14th lov^a Volunteers. He is 71 years of 
age, and is hale and hearty. 

Mary Ltica^, aged 69 years, and came here in 1838. 

Jane Clark came here in 1856, and is 75 years old^ 
She now lives at River Junction. 

Mrs. M, G. Kirkpatrick came here in ^"39, and is 8i 
years of age^ 

It was along about 1S37 when the Walker family 
first came and settled in F*remont township. The firs: 
to come was James, in 1837; and he was closely followed 
by Henry, Laura and Martha. This was one of Johnson 
countiy's first families, and they have all lived in the same 
neighborhood in which they first settled. 

Albert Wescott came in '54, and lives in Scott town- 

William Sweet came in ^38, and lives in Fremont 

Mrs. H. B. McCulIough was born in this county in 
1843, and lives at River Junction, 

Mrs. Matthew Tenick, the oldest old settler now liv- 
ing in the county ,came here in 1839, 80 year.^ 

J, J. Ressler came in 1840,, and lives m Sharoxi town- 

J. P- Von Steiia, oi Peaait township, came m 1850. 

Mrs. Ivem Huater, of Iowa City township, came in 
^842. . • 

Iseiise RotliOTelcr came to, Iowa, City in, 1847. 

Mrs, Vaa Fleet, of North Dubuqtie street, came in 
1839, and lived on 014 Man's creek. 

A. J, Eoweii, of Bi^ Grove, came in 1856. 

S. Weldy, of Pleasant Valley, l<K:ated in 1863. 

Mrs. John McCollister, horn in Fremont township 
ill 1862, \ 

Mary H. TenEidc bears the distinction of being the 
ifirst baby l>om in Iowa City, She saw- the light of day 
iti January of 1840. Her grandmother^ Hannah Cole, 
made the first flag that the breezes of Johnson county 
ever kissed, and history says it was made from old dress 
g-oods of the Cole family. 

Mr. and Mrs. McComiell, of Iowa City, came to this 
county isi ' 57. ^ 

Phila Culter, now Uii:cle Josiah Ady^s wife, came in 

Mrs. S. J. Kirkwood, the wife <3f the old war gov- 
ernor, came in '55. 

Hon. H. W. Lathrop came on the i8th day of May, 
1847, and for seven j'-ears tam^t school in this county. 
Many of the grandparents of today were his pupils then- 

Castle Rock, Cole., Sept. to, 189S, 
Gil R. Irish, Iowa City, low^: 

My Dear Sir: Your note requesting the attendanoe 
of myself and family at the tetmion of the old settlers of 
Johnson county, Iowa, on the 17th of the present month, 
w^as duly received. I cannot easily express the pleasure 
!t would afford us to be able to meet the old settlers of 
Johnson county on that occasion, but distance and othci 


hindrarices prevent. The trials and hardships intermin- 
gled with pleasures that the pioneers of Johnson county 
passed through^ in its early history, are yet green in our 

When I look back and see Johnson county just 
emerging from the hand of nature, and contrast her then 
condition with the present, then a wilderness, now the 
happy home of thousands, it seems to me a miracle has 
been wrought. 

In 3 short letter like this it is not possible to give 
much of I'le early history of the county. Will you kindly 
give to the old settlers assembled on the occasion ouf 
heartfelt good wishes for their present and future happi- 
- ness, and we trust the future has yet in store for them 
mafty h^ppy reunions. Very truly yours, 

P. W. O'Brien and Family, 

Grinnell, Iowa, Aug. 2S, 1896. 
G. R. Irish, Iowa City, Iowa: 

Dear Sir : Your kind invitation to old settlers' meeting 
17th proximo, at hand some time ago. Thanks. If not 
able to be present in person, you may count on me for a 
word of greeting* Very truly, 

Aaron O. Price. 

Beatrice, Neb,. July 16, 1896. 
Gil Irish, Iowa City, Iowa: 

Dear Sir: Your kind and considerate note as Secre- 
tary of the Old Settlers* Society of Johnson county, in- 
viting niy wife and myself to attend your annual picnic, 
received. While circumstances are such as will prevent 
t!S from accepting of your invitation, yet, believe us when 
we tell you, we fully appreciate the kindly spirit that 
prompted the remembrance of us, who are so far away. 
We would dearly love to meet the many persons who 
will be present at your meeting, who have known us, so 


many years, my wife nearly fifty years, and myself but 
ten years less. 

However long a time we have or may be absent 
from old Johnson county, we always have and will call 
it home. Our wish is that all who may be fortunate 
enough to be with you at your annual picnic may live 
many years, and ever be able to meet at least once a year 
to talk over reminiscences of past generations. 

Yours truly, 
Julius and Calista Sanders Smith. 

Gentlemen of the Committee of Invitation: — 

Dear Sirs : It is with regret that myself and family are 
compelled to deny ourselves the pleasure of attending 
the Johnson county Old Settlers' picnic. 

I should esteem it a great favor to meet with you 
once again, and to hear anew, in song and in story, from 
the lips of those who wrought— the history of the build- 
ing of this, our part, of the grand old Ship of State. 

While I cannot recall much antedating the "decline 
and fall" of the old Red Stage coach and the omnibus 
barn, followed by the first train through Iowa City to 
the Golden Gate, yet my heart swells with pride when I 
recall the fact that my parents, grandparents, uncles and 
aunts were prominent among those brave, true-hearted 
pioneers who built with courage and skill the foundations 
upon which rest today the manifold blessings which we 

In the great political crisis through which we are 
passing in this beautiful year of 1896, it will be well u 
the younger generation, into whose hands the guidance 
of our Ship of State is passing, shall study carefully the 
history of the past There and there only can they learn 
how our illustrious ancestors, Avith unity of purpose and 
Spartan bravery — through tempestuous seas or calms-^ 
steered heroically on toward their determined goal, a 

Common-Wealth, which should stand unalterably for Jus- 
tice, Freedom and Honor. 

Thanking you for your kind invitation, and wishing 
health, happiness and prosperity to all, 

I am respectfully, 

Ruth Irish Preston. 
Davenport, Iowa, Sept, 17, 1896. 

Fayette, Iowa, 'Sept. 9, 1896. 
M. Cavanaugh, Esq., of the Committee of Invitation: — 

My Dear Sir: Your kind invitation to be present 
at the picnic of the Old Settlers' Association of Johnson 
county on the 17th inst., is duly received. Nothing would 
give me greater pleasure than to meet with the many 
old friends there assembled. I can scarcely call myself 
an "old settler" of Iowa, having come to the state in 
1854; but I am an old settler and pioneer of the West. 
My father came to northern Illinois and settled among 
the Indians in 18^4. There my boyhood and early Hfe 
was spent. No splendid cottage was then, our home. A 
rude cabin, fourteen feet square, aflforded our only pro- 
tection for a family of fourteen during our first winter. 
No luxuries crowned our board. Indeed, during the first 
winter, our food supply was almost exhausted. We were 
without flour, potatoes, milk and butter, and for nearly 
one month, our only food was hominy obtained from 
corn '^planed" from the cob with a jack-plane,, and so- 
called pork, of long-nosed, long-legged hogs, which had 
never seen an ear of corn, but had lived on acorns. Hom- 
hiy and hog-meat for breakfast, dinner and supper; and 
we were glad to get enough of that Of course, we 
were well, hearty and happy. You may easily imagine 
that I most highly esteem the old settler. The people 
i)f Iowa do not know the debt of gratitude they owe to 
the hardy pioneers, who with heroic courage severed 
themselves from the scenes of youth, the endearments 
of home, and all that was dear to them in their childhood 

home, and endured the hardships of pioneer Ufe, in or- 
der to lay the foundations of this great state. 

We are proud of Iowa. Proud of her soil, her cli- 
mate, her prairies and rivers, her towns and cities, schools 
and churches; but more than all, we are proud of the 
men and women who laid the foundations and builded 
for themselves and posterity, the civil educational and re- 
ligious institutions of our beloved state. May long life 
and prosperity be theirs. 

Yours very truly, 

S. N. Fellows. 

San Diego, Cal., Aug. 31, 1906. 
My Dear Friend Matthew 

Some time since I received your very kind invitation 
to be pi*esent at the Old Settlers' picnic to be held Sept, 
17th. Your invitation also contains the suggestion that 
if I find it impracticable to attend, I should favor you 
with some reminiscences appropriate to be read on that 

On the receipt of your letter containing this invi- 
tation, knowing that it would not be possible to accept 
the invitation to attend, I laid the letter aside without 
replying, hoping I might be able to comply with the sug- 
gestion, but ater several unsatisfactory attempts to write 
something of the man> incidents of the thirty years I 
spent in the good old county of Johnson, I find it even 
more difficult to comply with the suggestion than it 
would be to make the long journey of 2500 miles. So 
many thoughts of dear old friends and acquaintances, 
(many of whom are now gone) crowd upon me when 1 
attempt to write, that I give it up in despair. Pen and 
paper are inadequate means of giving expression to my 

Altho' nearly ten years have passed since I left the 
old home, I have not lost one particle of my interest in 
all that is going on there. I scan the newspaper as it 


comes to me week by week for the items marking the 
changes taking place, and I look for the name of the old 
settler who has answered the final roll call. .Let me as- 
sure you, my dear sir, that it would be to me a source 
of great pleasure and satisfaction to once more meet the 
dear old friends and join in the festivities of the annual 
picnic of the old settlers, but the intervening distance and 
a not very plethoric pocketbook make it impossible, and 
1 am obliged to content myself by thanking you for the 
hearty invitation and kind remembrance. Please accept 
my kind regards for yourself and family. 

Yours truly, A. J. Younkin. 

Santa Ana, Cal., Aug. 13, 1896. 
Mr. Louis S. Swafford: — 

My Dear Sir: Yours of July 14, remailed at Santa 
Ana to our summer resort near Trabued Mountains, was 
feceived. It would give more pleasure than words can 
express could we comply with the request of the Old 
Settlers of Johnson county, Iowa, to be with them at the 
annual reunion at Iowa City Sept. 17th, look into the 
faces of old friends, and take them by the hand in friend- 
ly greetings, assuring them of our abiding love. But as 
this cannot be, we submit to the inevitable, cherishing 
the inspiring hope that we shall meet at the River over 
there *'in the sweet by and by.'* 

We came to Iowa City in 1845, and left for the Pa- 
cific coast in 1883. All hail! to the old settlers of John- 
son county, whose loving words and kind wishes when 
we last parted are embalmed in our choicest recollec- 
tions; whose names are stereotyped on memory's endur- 
ing tablets. Grateful for your kind remembrances, and 
wishing you a still brighter record in the revolving years, 
Yours very truly. 
Dexter P. and Hannah B. Smith. 

Supplement — Our oldest son, D. Edson Smith, was 
the first graduate of the Iowa State University. His 


home is in Santa Ana. Our second son, Carey R., left 
the University and enlisted in the First Iowa Cavahy. 
His home is here. Our only daughter, Flora S., gradu- 
ated with her husband. Dr. J. C. Gleason, from the Iowa 
State University. They are absorbed in professional 
work at South Riverside, Cal. Our other son, Granger 
C Smith, A. M., also graduated from the Iowa State 
University. He is pastor of the churches at Fl How- 
ard and Green Bay, Wis. 

Thirty-First Annual Reunion, Sept. 25, 1897. 

Proceedings of the Old Settlers' Association of John- 
son County, at the Thirty-First annual reunion, held at 
the Fair Grounds, September 25, 1897. 

The Johnson County Old Settlers' Association Is 
holding its annual reunion at the fair grounds today. 

From the workshop, ofifice, store and farm they 
have assembled for a day's outing, and Iowa City bids 
them welcome — one and all. The morning was devoted 
to reminiscent chat, and at noon a good, old-fashioned 
dinner was served. 

This afternoon. Attorney General Milton Remley de- 
livered an eloquent address, and Hon. H. W. Lathrop 
and Judge Fairall responded to calls with fine talks. 

Gil Irish gave the necrologist's report, showing that 
at least eighty-five old settlers had passed away since the 
meeting in '96. 

The following; officers were elected, Mr. Wienekc, 
having long and ably served the association in the past, 
rebelled against election, but his protest was unani- 
?nously overridden. 

President — L. S. Swafford. 

First Vice-president — Wm. Cochran. 

Second Vice-president — ^J. M. Hoffman, Graham. 

Secretary — George Borland. 

AssisiSBt Secretary^ — J, T. RcsbinsoiL 
Treasurer — H., J, l/i^eneke. 

To crae ^nd sll, t&e ontmg m tlie fragrant open or- 
chardj, ""Besiili hmrnizntly clad afsplc trees, and in tlie 
sliadow of iJie ascieiit log" cabins, was a memorable ex- 
perieDce. soHse of tlie jmimger **old" settlers, those 
relics of ploueex clays were strange siglits, but tlie real 
veterans of tlie €smity foimd tlieiii strangelj familiar. 

Tlie |r. -sneers a.lso foimd great pleasure in talking 
OYer oM tisxes^ comparing' liotes- — and ages — -and re- 
Iiesirsiiig tlie deeds of tlie '50's, '40's, and even tlie '30's, 
thongk tlie settJsrs wlio a.atedate 1840 are now few and 
far betweeri. During: tlie daj, tfee Morse band provided 
stimng- liiasic,^ and sliOTzed wliat a comtrj band can d& 
wlies it iTies. 

EcfoT.-r .-^djoismiuent^ tlie association antborized H- J, 
Wieiickc, IL W. I^tlirop and Ir. SwalJord to secure 
2 sikvl'aU'-e c^s^c m wMcli to preserve (for inspection, but 
hum lsa.:vii '^ri^} \-aiu«.b!e hnt often imperiled curios, 

Prc/;'':!^,;Dt SwiiLlonl and Secretarj Borland were au- 
thoiiz^.-.ii to sec lire badges for distribution at tbe next 
l\\-:v.c--thc «']:3t€ c?f wbicli will eot be set until next yiean 

Tbt re-ek;ctJf>-ii of Georg-e Borland to tbe secretary- 
;> \vrc::i a ?jv.'.r:led tribute to the genial officer for tbe 
cffir?o2U v/ay In vdu^h Im has kept tbe association's 
hG<iks the p:isL Jlis capable co~adjutor, "Uncle" J, T. 
Robn^sosiy \^:as similarlj remembered. 

Tbe clay, witb all its pleasures, was not untinged 
vnth sorrow. I'^erliaps no cap of joy lacks its tear. Ne- 
cro'Ogrst Gil Irisb read a report giving tbe list of tbose 
I'^cloved pioneers wbo, since tbe last annual reunion, bave 
croi^scd !he Jordan to tbat ^'undiscovered country, from 
whose boorme no Iraveler e'er returns." Tbe list was 
necessarily !??coinplete, as a perfect mortuary record was 
nno!?.1.?Jr>ablc. So far as Mr. Irisb could learn, tbe list 
of the departcfl ones, witb tbeir ages, was as follows: 

Mrs. Agnes ParYiUj. 
Judge Wm. MiOer,. T4 
Catlieriiie Bartk SI 
Naney Y. Clark^ es 
Levi Rotimsoii, W 
Margamt Ml, 82 
Mary E. Hall m 


L.. E. Curtis, 79 
Mrs. W. Smitlij, 58 
Mrs. Amanda CetwgiEt IS 
J. Hill, 12 
Jos. W. Holt, 81 
Mrs. B. S. Holmes^ 8d 
David A. P^tt, 72 
Mrs. Martlta Litli^ow, 102 
Francis X. Seemarsii, 
Mrs. Q. W. Kettlewell^ C§ 
G. W. Kettlewell, 7S 
Mrs. Lida Copelaind, aS 
Mary B. Koontz, 5g 
George Hevem, 80 
Mrs. Vincent Giissel^ SI 
Mrs. B. F. RosenSiranz', 46 
M. M. Kerr, 8T 
Josepb Kosler, 50 
Wm. Jayne, 70 
Hugh Tudor, 80 
Mrs. Pi^aehel Osborne, m 
Frs. Rebecca FyS^e, $Q 
Lemuel B. Patterson, T3 
Mrs. Sarah Hartman, 
Mrs. Evan Roberts, 82 
Mrs. John Lioraek M' 
Mrs. Jennie Glenn, 33 
James P. Kerr 
Austin McCune, 4^ 
Thomas J. Cos, 6T 
Mrs. Cyrus Sanders^ 74 

Mis.. Mmrj Fox, .S2 

— J48^ 

Mrs. Frank Lee 
Mrs. Wm. Edwards 
Frank Sale 

Miss Mollie Robinson, 5i 
Mrs. Dennis Kelcher 
Mrs. Sophia Brimer, 85 
Mrs. C. T. Ransom 
A. D. Mordoff 

Mrs, Jos. Schneider, 67 

Charles Cox, 77 

Mrs. Ruth Payn, 81 

Robert Shellady, 76 

Mrs. EJlen Fitzsimmons. 66 

Mrs. Jane A. Conrad 81 

Frank Zara, 60 


Those present at the meeting were the following: 

L B Adams 

M. Kessler 

E, M. Adams 

J. M. Leighty 

J. L. Adams 

G. Lancaster 

T. B. Allin , 

■ * 

G. W. Nelson 

0. M. Adams 

J. R. Heath 

M. Adams 

J . E, Jayne 

L>. A. Allen 

W. »?, Hohenschuli 

Ira J. Alder 

!■ ' ' 

J. W. Hart 

J. G. Brown 

: . 1 

Mrs. T. Hohenschuh 

A. W. Beuter 

H. Heath 

Ed. Balluif 

M. J. Kirkpatrick 

Abel Beach 

J. Ruhe 

N. H. Brainerd 

J. W. Morford 

E. F. Bowman 

John McCollister 

Wm. Cochran 

Benj. Owen 

J. K. Corlett 

W. E. Pratt 

C. M. Calkins 

Chas. Pratt 

C. E. Clifford 

J H. Poland 

Carrie Clements 

J. T. Robinson 

Bryan Dennis 

M. Remley 

D M. Dixon 

Phil Shaver 

Joe. A. Edwards 

Milt Seydel 

W. E. C. Foster 

A. E. Swisher 

E. G. Fracker 

J. Y. Stover 

Thos. Graham 

J. C. Shrader 

J. K. Hemphill 

E. Sanders 

Sam Hinkley 

F. Schneider 

Zion Hill 

J. W. Schell 

.J. M. Hoffman 

J. A. Stevenson 

J. Holubar 

A. B. Teneick 

H. H. Kerr 

Sarah Tippenhour 


J. J. Webei 
H. J. Wieneke 
H. Walker, sr. 
S. Weldy 
vVm. Anderson 
W, J. Bowen 
D. S. Barber 
Mrs. John Berry 
W. F. Buck 
J. A. Burke 
George Borland 
M. C(avanagh 
W. D. Cannon 
Cal Curtis 
Sarah Cropley 
Stra Deault 
W. M. Douglass 
L. Douglass 
F. N. English 
S. P. Fry 
Mrs. Cora Fraeker 
Chas. Gaymon 
Lem Hunter 
Geo. Hitchcock 
Elias Howell 
Geo. K. Howell 
J. Aldous 
Henry Hastings 
M. Kessler 
H. W. Lathrop 
D J. Wilson 
J. U. Miller 

Frank Greer 
S. J. Hess 
Chas. Hubner 
H. HamUton 
R. Hevem 
Gil Irish 
George Jones 
R. A. Keene 
Geo. Magruder 
A. L. Moreland 
W. V. Orr 
G. W. Finney 
Ben Price 
F. X. Rittenmeyer 
Mrs, M. J. Robbins 
J. J. Ressler 
D. F. Rosenkranz 
W. J. Rowland 
Wm. Sweet 
O. Starstman 
Zaach Smith 
M. A. Seydel 
J. T. Struble 
L. S. Swafford 
J. H. Thompson 
Jos Tubb 
Mrs. Clara Tubb 
Wm. Teneick 
J. P. VonStein 
Emory Westcott 
J. Waler, jr 
Geo. W. Koonz 

MOV, 65